In this day and age it’s awfully hard to keep your transfer dealings secret. The world abounds with intrepid journalists who would love nothing more than to break a story “Player X Signs for Club Y” before anyone else. Outside of pageviews and likes, I’m not sure there’s any inherent value in that pursuit, but that’s the world we live in, and clubs can either embrace it or be the proverbial old man yelling at a cloud.
Fortunately for us, Roma has embraced this trend, taking the piss out of the whole process with ironic and/or elaborate welcome videos, but if we’re being honest, that’s sooo 2017. This summer Roma decided to channel their inner Dan Brown, leaving a series of clues about their next sang real. Rather than send us jaunting around Europe, digging in the nooks and crannies of old churches, they left a breadcrumb trail in the form of an opaque wolf, strategically based in the background of a recent Tweet.
It didn’t take long for people to make the connection between that wolf and Ajax attacking talent Justin Kluivert, who by that point was a regular fixture in the Roma rumor cycle. Mere minutes after the image was posted, some intrepid soul had dug up an old photo of Kluivert, his gloved-hand triumphantly raised in the air, and claimed he was the opaque wolf, which, now that I think of it, sounds like a lesser known member of House Stark.
Well, cloak and daggers aside, they were right!
Kudos to whoever came up with that photo idea, it was fucking brilliant! As far as the particulars of the deal are concerned, Roma will pay Ajax €17.25 million up front with an additional €1.5 million in performances bonuses possible. Additionally, per the official press release, Ajax are entitled to “receive 10% of the difference on any transfer fee greater than €25m – up to a maximum possible payment of €4m.”
After signing his new deal, which runs through 2023, Kluivert was quick to praise his new employer:
I’m feeling great. I’m at an unbelievable club and I can’t wait to start. I think Roma is a great club for me - I think they can build me into a bigger, stronger player and I can do some nice things here.
The skeptic in you will read that as a sure sign he’s using Roma as a stepping stone, which may prove to be true, but in order to reach that higher plateau, he has to perform here. I’m not sure what to reasonably expect from Kluivert in his debut season, but if he can show any measure of consistency out wide, playing time won’t be hard to come by.
So now that the opaque wolf has been revealed, what do we think?