The internet has had a perverse effect on virtually every facet of modern society, including the manner in which we consume news. First it was simply the pace of the news that changed—stories popped up minutes (if not seconds) after the events themselves—but now it’s the credibility of the news in and of itself. Before you roll your eyes, rest assured I’m not launching into a political diatribe, but football has not been immune to illegitimate news.
And no strand of modern football has been more susceptible to the whims of the internet than the transfer market. Browse through our archives and you’ll see how everyone from DeAndre Yedlin to Zlatan Ibrahimovic were nearly Roma players. When it comes to fabricating transfer stories out of thin air, the internet is like California circa 1849, and the “news” that Cristiano Ronaldo might leave Real Madrid (for example) is like the veritable gold flake found among the metric tonnes of soil.
Despite all that, and perhaps because of the incessant coverage, the internet sleuths do a pretty good job tracking rumors once they become credible, witness our recent Bryan Cristante coverage.
All of this brings us to Justin Kluivert, one of the game’s hottest young prospects who suddenly became connected to Roma about a month or so ago. The connections were obvious: Kluivert is precisely the type of young, attacking talent Eusebio Di Francesco has worked wonders with in the past and he would be the perfect foil to Cengiz Ünder on the opposite flank.
But the rumors were just that, rumors. Until the middle of last week when we caught wind of a potential €20 million deal being struck between Roma and Ajax. While that was all well and good, to date that smoke hasn’t produced much fire...or has it?
On the surface, there is nothing incendiary about that image; it’s just an artist rendering of Monchi and his three coup de grâces thus far with a cute little wolf in the background. No big deal, right?
Well, what if I told you that wolf was actually Justin Kluivert? Or at least superimposed on his silhouette, as seen here among other places. Could this image portend a soon-to-be-announced signing of Kluivert, or is that delicately raised gloved merely a coincidence?
If the internet holds true to form, this could be the last teaser before Kluivert is bequeathed a scarf at Fiumicino, ahead of his rumored €20 million move. His legendary father is 90% certain his son is leaving, so could that semi-transparent image be the final 10% necessary to make this move a reality?