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Valletta part company with Den Ouden

Valletta have parted company with Dutch striker Geert den Ouden, club president Victor Sciriha told The Sunday Times yesterday.

"Valletta FC have terminated Den Ouden's contract by mutual consent," Sciriha said. "We had high expectations for Den Ouden but, in light of his difficulties to settle here, it was decided that the best solution for both parties was to end our association."

Den Ouden was trumpeted as a big-name signing when he joined the Citizens on a one-year deal last summer but his performances failed to live up to expectations in the first few months of the season.

The lanky striker, who last played for Dutch club De Graafschap, did give a good account of himself in Valletta's Europa League matches but he struggled to make the desired impact for Valletta in the league.

Den Ouden scored Valletta's first league goal in their opening-day 3-1 victory over Birkirkara but failed to find the net again.

His scoring drought caused discontent among the majority of the Valletta fans, some of whom jeered Den Ouden when he was substituted in the 1-0 setback to champions Hibs last month.

Valletta are now expected to double their efforts to sign a new foreign player in the January transfer window.

Dutch midfielder Jordi Cruyff and Cameroonian winger-cum-forward Doding Priso are the other two overseas players in Valletta's ranks.

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