Cologne - As if a front two comprising 2014/15 Bundesliga top scorer Alexander Meier and Swiss international Haris Seferovic wasn’t enough, Eintracht Frankfurt have bolstered their attacking ranks for the new campaign with the acquisition of the Netherlands Under-17's all-time leading marksman Luc Castaignos.
Now 22, the Schiedam-born centre forward moves to Germany having hit double figures in each of his last three seasons for former club FC Twente Enschede, and was once even compared to French football legend Thierry Henry.
At home in Holland
“The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in Europe,” Castaignos explained after signing a three-year deal with the Eagles on 30 June 2015. “I’m happy to be here and to be able to compete at this level.”
Despite being under 25, the rangy striker has already represented three other European clubs at senior level. He rose to prominence at Feyenoord Rotterdam, where he made his professional debut on 24 September 2009, but scored just once in six outings at his next station, FC Internazionale Milano, before returning to his native Holland 12 months later.
Interest in Castaignos reached the level of his pre-Inter days after he stuck away 13 league goals for Twente in 2012/13, and at one point a move to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur FC appeared to be on the cards. The so-called ‘negotiations’, however, turned out to be the work of fraudsters, who had allegedly forged a mandate document for a potential sale of the player.
“The club were informed about the situation by a contact in England,” a spokesman for Twente said at the time, with the scammers reported to have even offered Castaignos to clubs in the MLS as well. “It is correct that the signature of the club chairman was forged and the matter is now in the hands of the Dutch federation and Fifa.”
That all happened on the penultimate day of the winter transfer window in January 2014, but Castaignos didn’t allow his performances to suffer. He finished 2013/14 with 14 Eredivise strikes and five assists to his name, with his prowess in front of goal and incisive short passing game once again alerting some of Europe’s top sides to his talents.
His final season at Twente yielded a further ten Eredvisie goals, as well as three in the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) and one in the UEFA Europa League, prompting the Eagles to swoop for a player whose talents bear a striking resemblance to those of resident goal-getting icon Meier - never mind Henry. If he proves to be even half as good, the Frankfurt faithful will be laughing.