Soto's striker instinct is clear - now he needs to prove it at Norwich City
- Credit: Archant
Sebastian Soto's proved what everybody at Norwich City hoped he would - that he was too good to play in the second division of Dutch football.
The youngster was stuck in a kind of football purgatory as he waited for the green light on a work permit application that would allow him to continue his development at Norwich. Daniel Farke is yet to see him play in the flesh.
That doesn't mean his loan to Telstar wasn't valuable or didn't help his development. Seven goals in 12 matches graphically illustrates his ability. Andries Jonker knew it. His teammates knew it. Norwich City knew it. He knew it.
Soto is an intelligent striker. He is a natural goalscorer in the same way those poacher like goal getters would be described. His body of work in the Netherlands shows that.
In fact, that innate ability to find the net may be something that he honed as a young child. In an interview in 2018 with ESPN, his mother Monica said: "At one point we collected all the balls in the house and the backyard that were just everywhere, and I think we had 120.
"I was a stay-at-home mom with him and 90 percent of the day, I swear, if he was in the house, we were playing. We would go to parks... he just always wanted to be playing, scoring goals."
Soto's love for the game was evident in the sit-down interview we conducted with him in October.
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His first two goals for Telstar, which arrived in a 6-1 victory over FC Den Bosch, are both instinctive finishes. The first sees the American striker occupy space between defenders, before seizing upon a ball over the top to roll it past the keeper.
Soto's second was a rebound. A goal that proved his desire to latch onto loose balls in the area quicker than defenders. It is that natural instinct to score goals that makes strikers match-winners.
The American international has displayed a variety of goals throughout his loan spell at Telstar. Now, he will be asked to show it at a higher level as his assessment begins.
Farke has displayed throughout that opportunities are there to be seized, especially if young talents can prove their worth. That gauntlet has been thrown down to Soto, now he just needs to grasp it.