A diamond in the shade
Two days ago I wrote a piece.
In the piece I stated that if it were me I’d focus on rebuilding the midfield in preparation for the next season.
I stand by that.
I suggested that we have an overload of highly talented young players scratching at the door and deserving of playing time, so perhaps we should shift around to accommodate one of Laca/Auba possibly leaving eg; Martinelli to centre forward.
I stood by that until I saw this video…..
I know it’s just a video to some but for me, it’s a reminder.
Eighteen months ago I remember following Ajax as they were getting much publicity for their renaissance.
Most of the hype revolved around DeLigt and DeJong and rightly so.
They had a another player though who made me dream.
Dream of the days where wingers were players that played in a non-submissive manner, oblivious to passing pattens and ball retention statistics that the modern day player seems strangled by.
I fell in love with Limpar then my love bled over to players on other teams with similar dazzle. I remember Kinkladze, Waddle, Barnes and even the maddening Peter Beagrie.
Players that fans were literally making conscious decisions to pay to watch, even when their team was underachieving. Fans don’t talk about ‘paying to watch’ anymore.
Perhaps I sit on this island alone and that’s fine. I do think however that every fan partially breathes based on hope. That hope is often based in the knowledge that ‘today could be a good day because if all else is falling apart, we’ve got Anders Limpar,’ or similar.
So, now I’m torn because my head says we don’t need to inhibit the young talent we already have at Arsenal.
Then….. Justin Kluivert.
Those that read my work regularly would hopefully agree that I don’t sensationalize. Try to be balanced.
The truth is that Justin Kluivert could end up being a highlight video that blew your mind. A player that fell far short of his potential as he never found consistency or the right situation to exhibit his obvious gift.
Alternatively, Justin Kluivert could be a superstar.
You can’t look at footage of that level of talent at the age of 21 and not think that he could be a world star.
I see twinkle toes. I see two footed. I see a winger fully comfortable on either side. I see that the ball loves him because he loves the ball. I see supreme confidence. I see a player that would get a song before pre-season was over.
As an added benefit I see a young man completely fluent in English.
Should Arsenal pull the trigger on what is rumoured…. swap Mkhi for Kluivert plus £10M?
As football returns and finds its feet again I think as much as we appreciate the modern day collective game that’s become, we quietly pine for a player that we’d happily admit is the main reason we get up at the weekend with hope in our heart and a spring in our step.
I think back to how Arsenal unearthed their two greatest ever players in Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.
Lost in Italy, arrived in England.
Both were diamonds in the shade.
Three months later….. BOOM!
I’ve had to sit my head down to have a chat with my heart.
Arsenal need to sign Justin Kluivert.
Former Highbury regular. Moved to TN, USA in ’99. Married with 3 kids. Coached in UK and US for 27 years.
Mike McDonald Soccer Academy in Morristown TN, Olympic Development coach, Regional Premier League Champion.