Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham departure on Monday may bode well for winger Steven Bergwijn, following his exile under the Portuguese tactician. Bergwijn has only made the match-day squad in one of Spurs’ past five Premier League matches heading into Wednesday’s clash with Southampton, coming on as a substitute in the win over Aston Villa.
The out-of-favour Netherlands international has yet to score a single goal this season from 30 appearances across all competitions, despite providing six assists and having netted three times in 14 Premier League matches last term.
A mid-season arrival from PSV Eindhoven in the previous campaign, the £27million winger scored on his debut in the 2-0 win over Manchester City in February 2020.
And according to The Athletic, prior to Mourinho’s sacking on Monday, Bergwijn had been the subject of enquiries from clubs keen on landing him either permanently or on loan in the next transfer window.
It was said however that chairman Daniel Levy has no desire to part ways with Bergwijn, who is still just 23 and is under contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium until 2025.
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While he has barely featured of late, Mourinho’s dismissal opens the door for the Dutchman to return to the fold under a new manager.
It is thought former midfielder Ryan Mason may take temporary charge until the end of the season, when a long-term hire will be sought. RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann is one man heavily linked.
And that may present the opportunity for Bergwijn to revive his career in north London, having clearly fallen out of favour under his previous manager.
Speaking back in June, Mourinho declared that Bergwijn was not his first-choice addition, with the interest in the player thought to have pre-dated the manager’s arrival at the club in November 2019.
“Good player, good professional, good boy,” Mourinho said in the summer. “Congratulations to my club, the way they did it.
“Initially – and I’m always very honest on this – he wasn’t my first option when we decided to make a movement in the winter. But in the end, a great decision. A player with a great future, can play on the right and the left.
“We’re more than happy, not just his age, but also his professional attitude. The way he trains, the way he lives. He’s the kind of kid that can only be better.”
Despite those comments, he was only used sporadically this season and overall by Mourinho at Tottenham, with over half of his appearances having been from the bench.
Bergwijn has not started a Premier League match since the February 4 defeat to Chelsea, which was his fourth successive start.
But he will hope that a change of manager, between now and the end of season and also in the next campaign, can change his fortunes in the capital.
Tottenham powerbroker Levy meanwhile said in his statement after axing Mourinho: “Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club.
“Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.
“On a personal level I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.
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“He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”
Mourinho had been in charge for 17 months and had been due to lead Spurs into the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley this weekend.
The 58-year-old departs Spurs having won 44 of 86 matches in charge, drawing 19 and losing 23, more than he lost in significantly longer spells in previous roles.
In 127 games at Porto he lost 15 times, while his first spell at Chelsea returned a mere 21 losses from 185 matches. At Inter Milan he lost 15 times in 108 games while at Real Madrid he lost just 22 times in 178 games.
In his second spell at Chelsea, however, he suffered 27 defeats in 136 games while his two-and-a-half year stint at Manchester United yielded 28 losses in 144 games.
His Spurs win percentage (51.16 per cent) was considerably the worst of his career since his time at Porto, with his 58.33 per cent ratio at United – where he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup – the second worst.