Despite having a legendary father at Ajax, Justin Kluivert is finding his own way at the Dutch club after a career-launching weekend treble
With a hat-trick at the weekend against Roda JC, Ajax winger Justin Kluivert (18) has once again demonstrated why he is one of the most promising players in Holland. All three goals had a touch of class about them and left both the opposition’s defenders and goalkeeper without a chance.
The youngster will always be compared to his father Patrick, who also started his career at Ajax before playing for European heavyweights AC Milan and Barcelona. For Justin, it will be hard to live up to those expectations but he certainly has the talent to become a great player.
Justin’s treble was the first from a Kluivert for Ajax as Patrick has never managed to do that. At 18, Patrick scored the winner in the Champions League final for Ajax vs. AC Milan, however, suggesting that Kluivert Sr. was a level above his son at the same age.
Enough with the comparisons, let’s take a look at what makes Justin Kluivert a special talent.
The first thing that struck me when watching Kluivert play is his ball control at high speed. His advanced dribbling ability combined with his pace, make him a very dangerous player when given space. And even when he isn’t allowed much room, he is impossible to get a hold of by the defenders.
Famous English football commentator Martin Tyler uses the phrase ‘as slippery as an eel’ when analyzing Chelsea player Eden Hazard and the same can be said about Kluivert and his style of play. Another part of his game that resembles a characteristic of a different world-class player is his ability to control a long pass first time with both elegance and efficiency like PSG superstar Neymar has become known for. Moments like these get supporters off their seats.
Dribbling and pace are probably his main qualities, as expected from a winger, but something that shouldn’t be overlooked is his passing ability. Certainly in the final third Kluivert comes up with smart short passes to create dangerous situations. It’s a quality that makes him an all-around forward.
Finally, Kluivert’s finishing is at a good level for his age, as we saw on the weekend, and will allow him to hit 10+ league goals this season. His right foot is very deadly and he knows when to shoot with precision and when to go for power, demonstrating intelligence at such a young age.
At Ajax, Kluivert is beginning to settle himself in the first team and is slowly becoming a big player at the club. For the next three seasons, Amsterdam should be his home as he can develop as a footballer there. A move to a bigger club in Europe will become a possibility in the coming months if he keeps up this form but it would be foolish to make that move.
Motivational speaker Eric Thomas has a quote that goes like this; “If you’re not careful, your talent will take you places that your character can’t keep you at”. If Kluivert leaves Ajax for a big European side this season, he might not be ready for it, while in three years, having gained experience by playing 100+ games for Ajax, his chances of success abroad will be bigger.