A diamond in the shade: could this young talent follow in the footsteps of Henry and Bergkamp?


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. 

Watch this….

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.

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6 Responses to A diamond in the shade: could this young talent follow in the footsteps of Henry and Bergkamp?

  1. Chris May 20, 2020 at 8:30 am #

    Getting an expensive surplus player off the books, and bringing in Kluivert for 10 million?
    I can’t see it happening, but what a deal that would be!
    I agree; he has the potential to be world class.

  2. Omar El-kilany May 20, 2020 at 9:17 am #

    Excellent read and he looks a player, Mike

  3. Nate May 20, 2020 at 9:34 am #

    Have you watched him play? Kid wouldn’t make the Watford first-team… this is worrying

  4. Mike May 20, 2020 at 9:49 am #

    Sometimes a player comes along and you jump off the couch and say, ‘that’s the one!’
    You are not sure exactly why, but you know a player when you see one.
    That’s how I feel. A born natural footballer.

  5. allezkev May 20, 2020 at 7:32 pm #

    Would I want him coming in and blocking the development of Saka, Martinelli, Nelson and Pepe?
    No, not really, he did some nice step overs and other tricks in his video but we didn’t really see where they went or what they led to.

    We’ve also got John Jules and Balogun on the cusp of breaking through, how would they feel if we parachuted a 21 year old guy into the squad in front of them and we also have Smith Rowe who might need some game time next season if Arteta retains him in his squad?

    So I really don’t see where Kluivert fits in if I’m honest.

  6. Victor Thompson May 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Mike, I admire your optimism and your attention to young talent. I thought you may have something to say about Boyata who played for Hertha Berlin yesterday. I had not heard of him but I noticed him very early in the game, He is an imposing figure of a young man who I felt looked, ran and positioned himself well and generally claimed the midfield for himself. He reminded me of Van Dyke.

    The longer the game went on the better he got and to crown his performance he scored the 4th and last goal with a header a-la Vandyke. His statistics at the end of the game as I recall were Challenges 100% , Passes 90% Goals 1. I wish we could get him for next season but I think he will be priced out of our league. He is definitely the best young player I have seen this season

    Victor Thompson

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