‘They bought me for a reason’ – Millwall’s record signing Zian Flemming won’t add extra pressure to settling in process

Zian Flemming is focused solely on playing his natural game after his record-breaking move to Millwall.

The Lions paid £1.7million to sign the 23-year-old Dutch attacker from Fortuna Sittard last weekend, £200,000 more than when Ryan Leonard’s switch from Sheffield United became permanent in January 2019.

Flemming has been handed the number 10 shirt. And while he is fully aware the Millwall fanbase is buzzing about his arrival, the former Ajax youngster is not attaching any extra pressure around the fact he commanded a serious pricetag.

“I’m not really thinking about it that way,” Flemming told the South London Press. “I heard about being the record signing which is, of course, something to be proud of.

“I try to look at in this way – Millwall paid this record fee because of what I did at my former club. I will try and do the same here and with the same mindset – I won’t over-compensate to try and prove anything. I’ll do my thing.

“They bought me for a reason. I’m confident that by putting in hard work and staying calm, we will be fine. I’m not looking any further into it than that.”

Flemming scored 27 goals in the last two seasons for Sittard, along with 11 assists.

But the Amsterdam-born player will not set a target for his first campaign on English soil.

“I’m not doing it that way,” said Flemming. “Mostly I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other. My first target will be to score my first goal as soon as possible, hopefully the first game of the season.

“Every time I have one extra then I’m looking to the next one, and the next one and the next one. Last season, before you know it, you’re getting closer to double figures.

“I’m not setting an objective to reach 10, 20 or five goals – just one goal at a time or, if it’s possible, two goals at a time in a game.

“It’s step by step. Last season I scored my seventh goal and then I thought ‘okay, I need to have eight because eight is a nice number’. Then I scored my eighth goal and eight feels s*** already, because I want to go to nine. That’s just how you keep wanting to score.

“It’s worked for me the last year, so I hope to keep doing it that way.”

Flemming can play right across the front line but is clear on his best position.

“My spot is the number 10, so behind a striker or behind two strikers – whatever the coach likes,” he said. “I like to be behind someone.

“But during last season we also had some problems with the team and the players, that is why I was up front some of the time.”

Flemming’s trademark goal celebration has been a muscle flex pose which he copied from UFC fighter Nate Diaz.

“I think the people are expecting that, so I’m going to have to keep that,” he said.
Flemming is expecting the noise at The Den – and also on the club’s travels – to be very different to what he experienced in his home country.

“I’m happy we start with a home game – that’s something to look forward to,” he said. “But I know a bit what to expect as I’ve experienced some games over here when I was younger, with my family. I’ve been to a match here on Boxing Day and the atmosphere is way more different and way more passionate than in the Netherlands, overall.

“If the atmosphere is also nice for away games it gives some extra motivation.”

PICTURE: NIELS VAN RENEN, REFLECTION STUDIO

 

 


 

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