Jozy Altidore is having a fantastic season for AZ Alkmaar. He is keeping his club from falling into the relegation battle with nine league goals, the second most in the Eredivisie, and has improved his hold up play too. From an AZ perspective, there is very good reason to praise Altidore, which technical director Earnie Stewart did.
He is developing great. He is a target for the team, plays good football and translates that also in goals. That is not going unnoticed abroad. This season, there have been scouts of big clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the AZ gallery [to watch him].
That is all well and good, but it is important to keep a few things in mind.
- There are certainly clubs looking at Altidore -- probably some very good ones -- and at a non-major club in a selling league like the Eredivisie, it is inevitable that the striker will be sold. Propping him up like this and claiming that the world's biggest clubs are interested is a great way to boost a player's value so AZ could get a bigger fee. That could include lying about which clubs are watching him or being disingenuous about their level of interest.
- What AZ asks of Altidore is different than what Jurgen Klinsmann asks of him with the United States. Altidore worked harder in the Americans' draw against Russia, but he fell off in the second half. You can argue about whether what Klinsmann asks of him is right, but that is what is being asked of him and will continue to be asked of him. It's different than at AZ and while form is good no matter where a player is, Altidore has shown in his club vs. country production that excellent play in on doesn't necessarily translate to the other.