Bournemouth have had a strong beginning to their summer transfer activities by bringing in Andoni Iraola to replace Gary O’Neil and signing Justin Kluivert as the first addition under the new manager.
It is reported that they have paid Roma approximately £9.5 million to secure the services of Kluivert, who had a significant role as a regular player on loan at Valencia last season.
This is what Bournemouth supporters can anticipate from their recent acquisition, and how their manager might utilize him.
Justin Kluivert may have followed his father, Patrick, by progressing through the ranks of the Ajax academy, but Kluivert has a different playing style. Unlike his father, he prefers to play as a wide player rather than in the central position.
In the 2017/18 season, he made a name for himself as the first-choice left-winger for Amsterdam, scoring 11 goals and providing five assists in 36 games. Since then, he has primarily played in that position. Despite being right-footed, he often cuts inside with the ball to deliver crosses or take shots on goal.
However, he also has a strong weak foot, allowing him to go on the outside if necessary, making it challenging for defenders to contain him. Due to his proficiency with his left foot, he is comfortable playing on the right side as well. In that position, he becomes more of a traditional winger but still moves towards the center of the pitch when the opportunity arises.
Regardless of which side he plays on, he excels in one-on-one situations due to his speed and agility. Additionally, he is a skilled crosser and finisher, consistently producing positive results once he surpasses his opponent.
Due to his speed and ability to score goals, he was utilized as a striker towards the end of the season at Valencia and performed well in that position. However, for the majority of his time in Spain, he played on the right side.
Despite this, he managed to score eight goals in 29 games, which is a decent record considering that he came off the bench in 11 of those appearances. He has inherited his father’s talent for scoring goals and remains calm and composed when facing goalkeepers one on one.
However, he does have some flaws, particularly in neglecting his defensive duties. There is room for improvement in terms of both tracking back and pressing from the front, and he will need to demonstrate this improvement under the guidance of his new manager.
What are Andoni Iraola’s plans for utilizing Justin Kluivert?
During his time at Rayo Vallecano, Iraola primarily utilized a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation, emphasizing a high press and defensive effort from the front. His attacking strategy heavily relies on the involvement of wingers, as he prefers his teams to quickly and frequently distribute the ball out wide to them.
This style of play is a distinctive characteristic of his approach. When the wingers receive the ball, they are typically accompanied by advancing full-backs and wide-moving central midfielders, providing them with options to either collaborate with a teammate or take on the opposition individually.
This tactical approach suits Kluivert well, as it allows him to engage in one-on-one situations that he excels in by staying close to the touchline, while also having supportive alternatives if he encounters difficulties against a challenging full-back.
Iraola typically favors wingers who cut inside and create opportunities for overlapping defenders. This suggests that the new signing may be more likely to play on the left side, although he could also perform the same role on the right if necessary.
However, since he is not particularly diligent or strong in aerial duels, it is less probable that he will be utilized as a striker. Nevertheless, as a wide player, he has the potential to become an important player for his new team.