Mike te Wierik was something of a left-field signing for Derby County but with his pre-contract deal announced in February 2020, there was a fair bit of anticipation to see exactly what he would give Phillip Cocu’s Rams when he finally joined that summer.
The answer, unfortunately, was not much.
Te Wierik played just six times for the Derby first team and lasted just six months before rejoining FC Groningen, the Dutch club he’d left to make the move to Pride Park.
Beyond an impressive display in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last October, the East Midlands club fanbase have very little to remember the centre-back by and he’s likely someone that many will have started to forget given the chaotic events of 2021.
Having penned a new three and a half year deal with the Dutch club on his return, the 29-year-old slotted back into the Groningen side instantly and remained there for the majority of the second half of the 2020/21 campaign – helping the club to a seventh-place finish that offered a chance of European football.
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Unfortunately, te Wierik’s side were beaten 1-0 by Utrecht in the semi-finals of the Eredivisie play-offs for a place in the UEFA Conference League.
The 2021/22 campaign has brought further disappointments for the defender and his club, with the 29-year-old currently sidelined due to a foot injury and Groningen down in 15th after a tough start to the season.
Of course, that’s nothing in comparison to the torrid time that his former club are experiencing this term.