Man... I just wanted to have my say on this one since it was the incoming signing I wanted the most - and truthfully I don’t even have much to say. If they called it a mercato and shut the gates tomorrow, we’ve made the one move I wanted this summer.
We’ve covered Justin Kluivert as a potential summer target just over a month ago but, even at that time of writing, I didn’t really believe in landing him. I certainly thought it would cost a lot more with Man United and Barcelona in the picture. But instead Monchi cozied up to Mino Raiola and gradually Kluivert’s arrival seemed not just realistic at the weekend but a foregone conclusion by yesterday evening.
At this point I’m sure there will be plenty of time for rationalizing why Kluivert isn’t all that and then some: too young, too much of a risk, rumoured to have a difficult attitude, Ajax fans don’t like him for losing the ball too often, Kluivert’s dad played badly at AC Milan, etc.
But all that comes a distant second place to Justin Kluivert - like Patrik Schick before him - bringing 200 Roma fans to the airport. The other 11,800 of them were there in spirit, naturally.
Kluivert is signed because he can put the ball in the back of the net. He doesn’t need time or space to do so. He makes his own chances and looks to finish them off as soon as possible. That’s the story of this move, in a nutshell.
What highlights vids won’t show are his decision making, or any of the times he’s taken the harder option over looking for an open teammate. So there’s still plenty to find out about what he has to work on.
Did he set the world alight and re-invent what it means to have a scoring record in the Eredivisie? No. Will he be a world-beater from day one? Probably not. Will he take as long as Cengiz Under to find his feet? It’s entirely possible. But he’s signing for a club that just left a big gaping hole in the “goals for” column this past season, and natural goalscorers don’t come cheap in football. Roma’s best shot at signing marksmen is getting them while they are Kluivert and Under’s age or raising them in the academy. Mix in a Patrik Schick to create chances for them and the future is bright.
Kluivert loves nothing more than to cut in from the left wing and bend it into the far side with his right foot - SES-style. Worrying about the implications of this move for SES is a different topic, but Kluivert is a perfectly matching piece of the EDF puzzle and that long-awaited lovechild of Perotti and SES fused together that we’ve been waiting for.
That Monchi has sorted the foundation of next season’s squad in each position before pre-season is a welcome change. Did someone order a scarf in Oranje?