'No fear' Rangers target could handle Glasgow-life - but former coach urges Joey Veerman Eredivisie stay

Robert Molenaar is certain Joey Veerman could handle life in the Glasgow goldfish bowl - but the coach who introduced him to first-team football has advised the Dutch ace not to move too soon.

Joey Veerman of SC Heerenveen in action during the Dutch Eredivisie match between FC Utrecht and SC Heerenveen at Stadion Galgenwaard on October 02, 2020 in Utrecht, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Former Leeds and Bradford defender Molenaar handed Ibrox target Veerman his professional debut back in 2016 while in charge of Volendam in Holland s second tier and is convinced the cool customer could handle life in the notoriously pressurised Old Firm environment.

The midfield playmaker’s performances with Heerenveen have reportedly caught the interest of PSV Eindhoven, Atalanta and Reims, plus Gers boss Steven Gerrard.

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But Molenaar believes Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV Eindhoven would be better suited at this stage in his career.

Robert Molenaar played for Bradford City and Leeds United (Craig Prentis /Allsport via Getty Images)

He said: "I haven't spoken to Joey lately, but if he wanted my advice I'd point him towards the big three in Holland instead of going abroad. I think that would be a better choice for him to develop.

"You know if you move abroad you will be judged not only on your ability, but also what the fee has been and what you show on the pitch.

"If he stayed in Holland, he would remain in his normal surroundings and I think that would be kinder for him as he looks to make another step up.

"His stress management is remarkable on the field and I think that would also mean he would be capable of enjoying the kind of life you get in Glasgow with a club like Rangers.

"But I think if he were to go to Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord and adapt like he did at Heerenveen, then there will be even more teams for him to pick from after that,” he told PA news agency.

"That's my opinion. There's a lot of space in his development potential, but I think a kinder step would be to stay in Holland and see if he can manage that development.

"At that point, however, he will become more expensive, so I can understand why Rangers would like to get him on board now."

PSV boss Roger Schmidt ruled his club out of the chase last week after Heerenveen slapped an £8.5million price tag on Veerman's head.

Gerrard refused to discuss the rumours linking him to a player who has scored nine goals and assisted a further 10 this term when quizzed on Friday.

But Molenaar has no doubt Veerman would rule if he joined Scotland's newly crowned kings.

"I got Joey when he made the step from the junior team to the seniors," he said. "What was very remarkable was how quickly he adapted. His ability on the ball also stood out - especially his passing.

"The defensive side of the game is his Achilles heel. He won't take the ball off the opponent too much because he's more of a number 10. If a move to Scotland did not work, that would be why.

"But attacking-wise, he would be more than capable of coping with the faster pace in Scotland.

"His stress management is remarkable. I used to say he would do the same playing on the village square in Volendam as he would in De Kuip in Rotterdam against Feyenoord. Stress doesn't seem to affect him. He has no fear to hold him down."

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