It's been a complete nightmare season for Dutch winger Silvester van der Water. The former Heracles forward started the year in Health and Safety protocols (the COVID list) and that limited from early minutes.
Since returning from that layoff, van der Water has seriously struggled for any form. He's played just 31 minutes in three matches this season, barely registering any stats or any impact in any game.
That lack of form and playing time is especially poor when you consider how expensive a signing van der Water was. Last season, he was among the highest paid players in the squad at $300,000. Orlando also paid a transfer fee north of $1 million to bring him in from the Eredivise.
This isn't a massive DP signing or anything, but in a salary cap league, a signing of that size has to be making some impact, and van der Water just isn't, plain and simple.
The Dutchman has plenty of talent. For a few weeks in 2021, it looked like VDW was going to break out and become a bonafide star, but an early purple patch of form quickly faded and he played much like he has to start this season.
His lack of form is also hurting Orlando's offensive output. With Facundo Torres playing primarily on the left flank, van der Water would be a natural fit on the right side, cutting in to score and whip in crosses with his left peg. The Dutchman would provide a more direct option opposite the more creative and free-roaming Torres.
However, with VDW completely lost for form, Orlando's relied on Benji Michel and Alexandre Pato on the wings. Michel is a backup level player right now and Pato, while excellent, is better as a true second striker or false nine. He lacks the pace and verticality to really play on the flank.
Orlando was supposed to receive a boost in those departments with the arrival of Gaston Gonzalez, but that's in jeopardy with his serious knee injury, meaning it's likely up to internal improvements to supplement the Lions attack, and that starts with van der Water.
The Dutch winger has the talent, he needs to start putting the pieces together to justify his signing and be the dangerous piece Orlando expected when they signed him last offseason.