Dutch legend Ruud Krol has criticised the performances of Roma winger Justin Kluivert amid claims that a player who has been ‘unable to express’ himself in Italy could leave for Arsenal, while speaking to Taca La Marca, translated by Europa Calcio.
Kluivert Jr might not have exploded onto the scene with a winning goal in a Champions League final like his father, but he certainly looked like the real deal when breaking into the Ajax first-team as a precocious teenager three years ago.
Yet, as you might expect, the fleet-footed 21-year-old has found life in much tougher since he swapped Amsterdam for the Stadio Olimpico in a £15 million deal.
In two years, Kluivert has scored just five Serie A goals – half the amount he managed during a sensational final campaign back home in Holland.
As a result, speculation suggests that Roma will let the twice-capped Dutchman join Arsenal as part of the deal that would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan stay permanently in the Italian capital.
“Kluivert has been unable to express himself to the maximum. He is very young but he needs time to repeat the performances offered in Holland,” says Krol, who compares the scenario to that of a former PSV Eindhoven talisman in the land of ‘catenaccio’.
“This is a situation similar to (Hirving) Lozano’s at Napoli. You can’t expect these guys to immediately change the balance like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.”
Calciomercato reported last month that Arsenal are willing to offer Kluivert a £60,000-a-week contract at the Emirates.
And Roma boss Paulo Fonseca added fuel to the fire in midweek when he dropped the winger from his squad for a 2-1 victory over Parma.