Toulouse top scorer Dallinga step closer to Orange: ‘Two less competitors’

Toulouse top scorer Dallinga step closer to Orange: ‘Two less competitors’
Thijs Dallinga, celebrated striker at Toulouse

NOS Football

  • Thierry Boon

    Follows Jong Oranje on behalf of NOS

  • Thierry Boon

    Follows Jong Oranje on behalf of NOS

National coach Ronald Koeman begins to stammer at a question at the press conference explaining his selection for the Dutch national team. Why call up Brian Brobbey – substitute player at Ajax – when you can also select Thijs Dallinga – scoring at the assembly line at Toulouse?

After the uncertain start, Koeman answers, “Of course I also followed the boys in France. But I made the choice for Brobbey because I want to see those ten days. Because I still think he will eventually get better.”

The best soccer players in the Netherlands these days mainly play in the back. In the striker, the pool behind first choice Memphis Depay and Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst is rather thin.

Competition disappears

With the thanking of Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen, two World Cup contenders have now dropped out. And so it is not surprising that Dallinga’s name falls. He is already good for double figures in the French league, which is rated higher than the premier league.

Dallinga also read about De Jong and Janssen quitting. “In fact, they are two less competitors,” concluded the 22-year-old Groninger.

Striker Dallinga sees chance in Orange getting closer: ‘Two competitors lost’

For now, he has to make do with Jong Oranje, in which he has yet to score in two substitute appearances. “I’m from building up slowly, so I wouldn’t say about myself quickly that I should be in Oranje. But we are getting another step closer.”

The last two years have been heart-breaking for Dallinga. After less successful periods at FC Emmen and FC Groningen, he turned out to be a true goal thief in the 2021/2022 season as a transfer-free acquisition of Excelsior.

In the first division, he scored 24 goals in his first 19 duels. The counter eventually stops after 32 goals, making him top scorer.

Thijs Dallinga is honored as top scorer of the KKD by Louis van Gaal

The scouts of French promotion side Toulouse dare to take a chance on Dallinga and let their club pay 2.5 million euros for a striker from the first division. They do not regret it, because in the south of France Dallinga continues to score merrily.

Short behind Messi

With ten goals in 27 games in his debut season with France’s current number 12, Dallinga can be satisfied. On the top scorer list, he is only three goals behind Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi.

“Yes, we are shortly behind!”, Dallinga gloats. “It’s nice to be in such rankings. I couldn’t have imagined that last year. So that’s just nice. After the World Cup break, things are going well. With the club, but also with myself.”

Thijs Dallinga cheers after another goal for Toulouse

Whether he surprises himself? He hesitates for a moment. “The step was big, of course. From the first division to a top-five league. I think I had to adjust for a while, but now what I envisioned is coming true,” he says self-consciously.

It always takes some getting used to a new environment as a footballer, even in that warm fourth city of France. The level is higher, you have to deal with new teammates, you have to find your place, both at the club and outside. And then there is a language barrier.

Dutch enclave causes irritation among Frenchmen

Although that is not so bad at Toulouse, considering the Dutch enclave. Besides Dallinga, Branco van den Boomen (ex-FC Eindhoven, among others), Stijn Spierings (ex-Sparta), Zakaria Aboukhlal (ex-AZ) and Said Hamulic (former youth player Go Ahead Eagles) are also under contract with the French club.

“The French sometimes get mad at us,” Dallinga acknowledges about the Dutch clique. “They then say we are too loud. We often are, but I think that’s just a good sign.”

Dallinga on Dutch enclave in Toulouse: ‘French sometimes get mad about us’

“That says we’re having a good time. And that maybe the rest talk to each other a little less, haha. For us it’s perfect, but every now and then you taste some outside irritation,” Dallinga said.

So although it’s very cozy, the Dutch guard against a overkill of compatriots. “We talk about that sometimes: whether they are not tired of us at times. But as long as we do well on the field, I think it will be accepted.”

And well they do, with midfielder Van den Boomen (five goals and seven assists) and striker Dallinga leading the way.

Back to Orange for a moment. Does he understand why Brobbey is preferred? “I don’t want to say much about that,” Dallinga insists. “I’m happy with how things are going now. Of course sometimes you secretly hope for Orange, but I just have to show it every weekend.”

Kayleigh Williams