There was never any doubting his ability and seven days into what may be a defining year for Kevin van Veen, Iron fans will hope that they have seen a glimpse of what’s to come.
Four goals in three games is the biggest indicator yet that the Dutchman is now ready to silence a few of his lingering critics and take the league by storm. This is a player on a mission, with a new found belief in himself to prove he can be the real deal.
In a refreshingly honest and open interview last weekend, he admitted he had struggled following the break up with his girlfriend and it must have been difficult to be away from his family and friends back home under such circumstances. It is easy to forget, at times, that these players are only human. The situation obviously had a negative effect on his game and coupled with what seemed a frosty relationship with then manager Mark Robins, the loan spell back home at Cambuur may prove to be a masterstroke long term.
Van Veen has returned stronger, quicker, more confident and evidently hungry for success.
Saturday’s net-buster infront of the Donny Road End was a strike of the highest quality, but it is a struggle to find superlatives that can describe just how good his spectacular 30 yard effort was yesterday.
Picking the ball up out on the wing, he took three touches before unleashing an unstoppable curling drive which arrowed towards the far top corner. There was a slight pause before any celebrations. Sam Mantom looked visibly frustrated as he had wanted the ball played inside, but that frustration was short lived.
The fans behind the goal were in disbelief as the ball, which had looked to be going just wide, stopped curling mid air and dropped into the net. This is the player we thought we had signed. This was audacious. This was special. Cue delirium behind the goal.
There is, of course, a long way to go and it is important that we do not get too carried away. Graham Alexander will need to keep him focused and ensure he does not get too frustrated when things do not go his way, but it is the best start we could have hoped for from the likeable striker.
Fans watching the warm up at Fleetwood would have been forgiven for thinking it may not be his day as he pounded the roof of the terrace with nearly every attempt in a shooting drill. But van Veen is now performing when it matters.
The Budget Bergkamp is fast becoming the Iron’s new talisman.