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Feyenoord need record-breaking Gimenez back for Roma revenge
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Dan Fitch
Santiago Gimenez scored 31 Eredivisie goals in 2023
Santiago Gimenez scored 31 Eredivisie goals in 2023

Feyenoord will be hoping Santiago Gimenez is fit and firing for their Europa League revenge mission against Roma. 

The Mexican striker has been in superb form this season but has drawn blanks in recent games and missed last Sunday's 2-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam through injury. 

This malaise has come after a rumoured move to the Premier League failed to materialise during the January transfer window. 

Ahead of Feyenoord's home leg against Roma in the Europa League knockout round play-offs, we put Gimenez under the spotlight. 

Fitness test

Gimenez was absent from Feyenoord's derby victory against Sparta Rotterdam with a calf injury. 

It was the first game this season that he has missed through fitness issues, having been near ever-present since joining the Dutch club from Cruz Azul in July 2022. 

For Feyenoord it is poor timing, ahead of their important European clash with Roma. 

Santiago Gimenez impressed in the Champions League group stage
Santiago Gimenez impressed in the Champions League group stage

Their manager Arne Slot gave an update on the situation in his pre-match news conference. 

He said: "Santi will be undergoing a few late fitness tests. From the results, we will decide whether he is able to play or not."

Gimenez's injury follows a short goalless run, which has seen him criticised by both the media and Slot. 

Record breaker

Prior to missing the Sparta Rotterdam victory, Gimenez had gone five goals without a goal.

His last appearance was in the 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar in the KNVB Cup, which saw Slot comment on his poor performance. 

He said: "Like the rest of the team, against AZ he was very bad on the ball. He contributed a lot last season and he also scored a lot of goals this season. 

"That's why he has a lot of credit, also among the fans. We expect more from him and he knows it." 

Gimenez has only scored once in 2024, compared to a stellar 2023 in which his 31 Eredivisie goals set a record for the highest total in a calendar year. 

His form helped Feyenoord to win the league in his debut season, while he has taken things to another level during this campaign, with 21 goals in 24 games across the Eredivisie and Champions League.

This has attracted the attention from the Premier League, with Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham all linked with the 22-year-old. 

It has been suggested that Gimenez could have been unsettled by the speculation regarding a January transfer, resulting in his slump in form. 

Arne Slot has criticised Santiago Gimenez's performances
Arne Slot has criticised Santiago Gimenez's performances

Revenge mission

Gimenez's suitors are unlikely to have been put off by his recent struggles. 

Aside from the sheer volume of goals, there is much to admire in his game. 

At 6ft, he has strength and aerial ability. His finishing is clinical, with many of his shots originating from his clever movement and use of bursts of pace. 

An adept dribbler in tight areas, Gimenez also offers defensive qualities, with his willingness to press making life tough for defenders. 

Feyenoord will be desperate for him to return against Roma, who beat them in the 2021-22 Europa Conference League final and then knocked them out of the Europa League last season. 

With Feyenoord having dropped down from the Champions League before Christmas, now is the time for Gimenez to recapture his best form on the European stage.


FeyenoordEredivisieEuropa LeagueSantiago Tomas Gimenez
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