Marvin Emnes finds himself now without a club
Former Middlesborough, Swansea, and Blackburn striker, Marvin Emnes, is without a club. The 29-year-old has parted ways with Turkish side Arkhisar Belediyespor after appearing only seven times. What are his options?
Starting his career in his native Holland, he debuted with Sparta Rotterdam. Three years later, in 2008, he joined Middlesborough. Emnes was a fan favourite who clocked over 140 appearances. He functioned as a striker or a winger on either flank. Spells with Swansea and Blackburn followed before he went to the Super Lig last season.
In the Eredivisie and English football, the Dutch frontman possessed great speed, strength, agility, dribbling and a keen eye for goal. In Turkey, he never found the net in 287 minutes of playing time. Could we be seeing a player in decline?
Young enough to revive his career, his best shot would probably be in England at the Championship level. His career highlights are in England’s second tier but being without a club at the moment is not good timing. There are only a few games left in the season. Clubs won't be looking at anyone until June. On the bright side, a long holiday might recharge his battery.
Bigger clubs will be scouting the World Cup, looking for bargains. It may be the best time for a smaller outfit to snap up Emnes on a free. His experience is such someone will make an offer.
Lack of opportunity and his inability to impress may motivate the well-travelled forward. Former Galatasaray, Inter Milan, and Besiktas midfielder Okan Buruk is Akhisar Belediyespor’s manager. The ex-Turkey international signed Emnes but didn't give him much in the way of opportunity.
Even at 29, Emnes has a few years in a decent league. Having been labelled as inconsistent since his Boro days has proven frustrating. Other talented players have been laden with that tag and have persevered. Dimitar Berbatov is enjoying himself in the Indian Super League. Bradley Wright-Phillips is thriving in MLS now well into his 30s. Those are also lucrative options for the Dutchman. Everything can’t always work in your favour. With a little luck and some initiative, Emnes could land somewhere this summer.
Personally, I think the ideal move would be to a side newly promoted to the Championship or a mid-table side looking to improve their depth and standing. But he will need a manager who is actually familiar with his style of play and teammates capable of working well with him.
The thing about Emnes is he isn’t a prolific forward but he's manufactured a reputation due to his abilities. Whenever you hear his name an instance of appraisal is soon followed. There's a visual image of flash and skill. It's a waste that he doesn’t have a club right now. Many footballers don’t come back from career-defining moments like this. It will be a test of his character whether he can. Personally, my money is on him finding a place and perhaps even giving me reason to write the tale of a player on the comeback trail.