‘But the line is very thin’

‘But the line is very thin’
Vaclav Cerny cries out

NOS Soccer

Twente attacker Vaclav Cerny has been regularly linked with foreign clubs in recent weeks. Why? A short answer suffices: a formidable end to the season. Even compared to such vedettes as Erling Haaland.

Especially now that FC Twente is working toward the absolute climax of the season – via Heerenveen, the final of playoffs can be reached this afternoon – he himself will say little about it: club interests come first, as befits a true professional footballer. But in the summer Cerny can make a nice move.

And he owes that entirely to himself, according to technical director Jan Streuer. “He has self-confidence, plays with flair. That really shows.”

Many a Twente supporter can still clearly recall the image: Cerny lying on the icy grass in an empty Grolsch Veste, more than two years ago. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament for the second time.

The Czech outfielder got his first professional contract at Ajax and left for FC Utrecht in 2019. Things didn’t work out at either club: he was rented out to FC Twente. And there he flourished with six goals and as many assists. Until January 2021, in other words.

Vaclav Cerny suffers serious knee injury early in 2021

Cerny recovered at Twente and then committed to the club even longer. Last season he made his comeback. And that went by trial and error. Also early this season, Cerny alternated positive outliers – he scored two goals against PSV, for example – with mediocre games.

“Last year Cerny was by no means always undisputed, he didn’t always have a starting spot either,” notes Leon ten Voorde, FC Twente follower of Tubantia, op. “The line with him is very thin. When things are going well for a while, suddenly everything falls right. But so his lower limit can also be very low.”

Old level

“A lot of people underestimate such a knee injury,” Streuer said. Rehabilitation from such an injury takes about a year. “But to get that last ten percent back on, that takes so much work and time. And he’s managed to do that, he’s back to his old level.”

Vaclav Cerny in the premier league

Season Club Duels Goals Assists G+A
2022/23 FC Twente 32 13 11 24
2021/22 FC Twente 18 1 1 2
2020/21 FC Twente 16 6 6 12
2019/20 FC Utrecht 13 0 0 0
2017/18 Ajax 4 0 2 2
2016/17 Ajax 5 0 0 0
2015/16 Ajax 7 1 1 2

The numbers underline Streuer’s words: Cerny was responsible for thirteen goals and eleven assists this soccer season. Never before in his career did he go through such a successful season.

“Cerny is a real feeler. He feels confidence now, and then almost everything falls into place,” Ten Voorde stated.

Eredivisie players – goals and assists in all competitions since March 2023

Player Goals Assists G+A
Václav Cerny (Twente) 7 8 15
Xavi Simons (PSV) 8 5 13
Santiago Giménez (Feyenoord) 12 1 13
Vito van Crooij (Sparta) 5 6 11
Luuk de Jong (PSV) 8 3 11

Above are only premier league players. But Cerny has recorded even better figures than top international players like Erling Haaland and Harry Kane since March. “And that’s mostly a compliment to himself. He has worked incredibly hard for this,” Streuer knows.

Ten Voorde: “It is of course a great achievement. And if I were FC Twente, I would sell him. I don’t think he can top these figures in the future.”

Top five European leagues + premier league (regular seasons) since March 1, 2023

Player Goals Assists G+A
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 11 7 18
Loïs Openda (RC Lens) 12 3 15
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) 8 7 15
Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain) 12 2 14
Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyon) 13 1 14
Václav Cerny 6 8 14
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 12 1 13
Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) 11 2 13
Elye Wahi (Montpellier) 9 4 13
Erling Haaland (Manchester City) 9 4 13

Ten Voorde says he expects a transfer. Whether Cerny, who is under contract in Enschede for two more years, may also leave from Streuer? “He wants to reach the highest attainable level. And that’s logical, every sportsman wants that. If a club comes along that offers the right amount, of course we will cooperate.”

“But if he stays, of course that’s fine too,” Streuer continued. “We want to tap a high level again next year, and he can contribute to that.”

But first this season must be concluded, preferably with a ticket to the Conference League preliminary round. “Cerny is not thinking about a transfer today, mind you. He is a professional. We all want the same thing,” Streuer said.

Kayleigh Williams