A move to England would be a step up, says Sporting Lisbon's Ricky van Wolfswinkel

The Dutchman is content and remaining focused at the Portuguese giants but admits that he would be interested to explore the Premier League at some point in the future
By Ashish Sharma

Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has stated that a move to England could be an interesting option in the future, but stressed that he is happy to stay at the Portuguese giants for now.

The Dutchman joined Sporting from Utrecht in the summer of 2011 and has since developed into a key player for the Europa League hopefuls.

Van Wolfswinkel's good performances have not gone unnoticed around Europe, with clubs such as Manchester United, Newcastle United and Liverpool all linked with a move for the 23-year-old.

"The European Championship is not really realistic for me. But I am really young and that is not my priority at the moment"
"I know that a lot of Dutch players play in England. It's a really good competition and I do see it as a step up," the forward told Goal.com. "It's a step to take maybe in the future, but we will see about that when it happens.

"If someone comes along and wants to pay a lot of money to the club and to me, then maybe we would speak about that. But we would both have to be happy about it. I signed for five years here because I really wanted to be here and I am really happy."

The former Vitesse star made his debut for the Netherlands national side shortly after the 2010 World Cup and is hoping for more opportunities with Oranje.

However, Van Wolfswinkel realises that it will be a tough task to make it into Bert van Marwijk's squad for Euro 2012.

"It was a great day for me and for my family to make my debut for the senior Dutch team. That is the highest level you can go to. To play there in that moment was fantastic," he enthused.

"I hope there will be more opportunities to play at that level, but I am still young, so let's see.

"We have really good strikers so I am not sure that I can get into the squad for the European Championship. That is not really realistic for me. But I am really young and to be honest that is not my priority at the moment."

Van Wolfswinkel received his fair share of criticism for his decision to leave the Eredivisie for the Portuguese Liga last year, but the attacker does not regret his transfer.

The Sporting star believes that the level of play in Portugal is higher than in his native country due to differing mentalities, although he feels that there might be more individual quality in Netherlands.

Sporting Lisbon are 6/1 with Paddy Power to win the Europa League
"In the Eredivisie they always want to play football. Here in Portugal it's not like that. If you can't play football then you defend. That makes it really hard," he observed.

"The level of the teams is higher [than in Netherlands] and I think that makes it a stronger competition for sure.

"They have a lot of individual quality here, but I think there is much more of that in Netherlands. They love to play one-touch football there. Here it's more of a fighting quality."

Sporting Lisbon beat Metalist Kharkiv 3-2 on aggregate to book their ticket to the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they will meet Athletic Bilbao.

They are currently preparing for the league match against arch-rivals Benfica on Monday.

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