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Sliema Wanderers sign former Groningen, Brighton midfielder Danny Holla

Dutch midfielder played with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Dusan Tadic and Luis Suarez

Sliema Wanderers have continued to strengthen their squad by bringing another high-profile player in Dutch midfielder Danny Holla who has over 200 Eredivisie appearances under his belt.

Holla, 32, has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the Premier League side who have already brought in another experienced midfielder in Denilson.

Like the Brazilian midfielder, Holla featured in English football having been on the books of Brighton & Hove Albion between 2014 and 2016, during which he also faced Arsenal in an FA Cup tie with the Gunners winning 3-2.

Danny Holla (right) in action against Arsenal. Photo: Mike Hewitt

Against Arsenal, Holla registered the assist in Brighton’s second goal even though it was not enough for them to avoid an exit from the cup competition.

Previously, he had spells in his native Netherlands at FC Zwolle, VVV Venlo, ADO Den Haag, PEC Zwolle, FC Twente and FC Den Bosch.

In a 2012/2013 game with ADO, Holla also registered an assist in their 1-1 draw against an Ajax side who included Danny Blind, Toby Alderweild, Christian Eriksen and Ryan Babel who eventually grabbed the equalizer for The Lancers.

During the same season, he also found the net in a 2-3 defeat at the hands of another Dutch giant, PSV Eindhoven, then coached by Philip Cocu with Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum among the PSV players.

Sharing the dressing room with him at ADO was Nigeria international Kenneth Omerou, brother of Lucky who was on the books of Birkirkara, Pembroke Athleta, Tarxien Rainbows and St George’s on our shores.

However, it was at Groningen where he spent most of his career with 116 games played in all competitions.

Danny Holla (second from right at the bottom) alongside Virgil van Dijk (first from left at the top) and Dusan Tadic (second from right at the top). Photo: VI-Images

Known for their excellent youth upbringing, the Groningen side in which Holla featured had also Liverpool’s towering defender Virgil van Dijk, creative midfieler Dusan Tadic now at Ajax and clinical forward Luis Suarez, who had stellar spells at Liverpool and Barcelona.

Luis Suarez at Groningen.

Holla was one of Groningen’s key players and he was also instrumental in helping his side causing a major upset when they had defeated a star-studded Ajax side in an Eredivisie game in 2009.

Danny Holla’s winning goal against Ajax in 2009.

The newly-signed Sliema midfielder scored the winning goal against The Lancers who were then coached by Dutch legend Marco Van Basten and who boasted quality players like Maarten Stekelenburg, Gregory van der Wiel, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Nigel De Jong and Urby Emanuelson in their side. Suarez was also part of that team having left Groningen in 2007.

The Wanderers have also signed Nuno Malheiro, Riki Kakinuma Alessandro Milesi, Hugo Meira and young Sebastian Grech.

Andrea Pisanu’s side have also extended the contracts of Antonio Stelitano and Edmond Agius.

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