Dutch player Wouter Verstraaten snubs an offer made by League One side Sunderland to sign for non league South Shields instead.
The highly-rated 23 year old has opted for a new contract with the Mariners, despite interest from the Black Cats.
? We’re delighted to announce that Wouter Verstraaten has committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.
— South Shields FC (@SouthShieldsFC) May 18, 2020
Back in February 2020, the Black Cats took Verstraaten on trial and made an offer for him to join their under 23 set up having featured in a game against Liverpool.
However, the player wants to focus on his university studies whilst also staying with his current club who have set their sights on the EFL.
Verstraaten said: “I am very happy to have signed this deal, as it took a while before we finally got it done.
“I am very pleased that South Shields have shown their confidence in me during these unprecedented times.
“Ever since I joined the team in January, I have felt the professionalism and will to win this league.
“That this didn’t happen last season was obviously a very disappointing moment for the whole club, but I feel that we are very motivated to make things right next season. That is one of the many reasons I have signed with South Shields.
“I feel that it is the right place for me to grow as a player and improve in areas that will help me perform to a higher level.
“It is a pleasure to play in front of such a big crowd every week. There are not many places where the stage is set every weekend like it is at South Shields.
“I’m currently back in the Netherlands staying fit and spending some time with my family and I’m in regular contact with the management, but we just have to wait to see when the Government allows us to get back together.”
He is a former player of PSV Eindhoven, FC Eindhoven, Pacific Tigers and Portland Timbers’ Under-23s and can play anywhere from the back line to midfield.
Hish first club on English shores came just last year with Northern League side Consett, as he wanted to study for a Masters in finance at Durham University.
Shields saw him, snapped him up in January and made 14 appearances before the season was suspended.
Fans reacted after seeing the Dutch player snubs Sunderland offer to sign for South Shields…
Glad he’s signed. Solid. ??
— UP THE MARINERS! #StaySafe (@UTM_Mariners) May 18, 2020
Turned down a contract at Sunderland for a bigger, better club
— Liam? (@Liamwhisson_) May 18, 2020
Glad we have managed to keep him on board
— Rachel MacDonald (@rachel_m_03) May 18, 2020
Great to see the players signing on to finish what they have started and hopefully we can kick on next season and blast the league away ?
— AlwaysReady (@AlwaysReadySsfc) May 18, 2020
Brilliant, quality player
— Chris Allen (@chrisallen125) May 18, 2020
Get in, good news for the mariners fans at last, especially with us getting shafted by the league….UTM.
— Mr Dm Lowdon (@DmLowdon) May 18, 2020
Wonderful news ??? This kid is one hell of a talent so I’m thrilled we’ve got him signed on
— Claret & Blue Pixels (@Dazzla84_SSFC) May 18, 2020
— Andy Gardner (@AndyG1508) May 18, 2020
I am sure he will do well. A good grounding in his career at PSV and an interesting spell at Portland Timbers too ?
— James Rowe (@JamesRoweNL) May 18, 2020
Fantastic! And it comes to something, when a player from PSV can learn his trade from the brilliant defenders we already have, our players deserve to grace the National North next season, look at Kings Lynn? With luck that will be us next season! Our club is very special !
— Jeff Bell (@quango25) May 18, 2020
An excellent player. Very technical, very comfortable on the ball, and he reads the game so well.
Hopefully both South Shields and player will rise up through the leagues together ?
— King of Northumbria (@Sandancer1977) May 18, 2020