A revelation for Ajax last season, Justin Kluivert is looking to enhance his reputation as one of Europe’s most gifted young wingers.

  • By Michael Bell
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Son of Ajax legend Patrick Kluivert, Justin joined the Ajax Academy in 2007 and has honed his game as an attacking winger through the various age groups. Last summer, Kluivert began the season in the U19 squad but after a starring role in a 6-0 win over Volendam’s A1 squad, he was handed his professional debut for Jong Ajax on the 16th of September. Before the end of the year, Kluivert continued to star for Jong Ajax and the U19’s in the UEFA Youth league and first team coach Peter Bosz was impressed.

Kluivert was handed his first team debut after the winter break and starred in a 3-1 win over PEC Zwolle, earning plaudits for his confident attacking style. From that point he was a permanent feature of the first team, despite only being 17 and he finished the season with five assists and two goals in 20 appearances. He featured in the Europa League quarter and semi-finals but remained on the bench for the final loss to Manchester United.

He turned down the chance to play for Netherlands U19’s at this summer’s European Championships as he looked to prepare for the Champions League qualifiers. He started both legs against Nice, but he was exceptional in the return leg at the Amsterdam Arena, proving that he is set to play a major role for Ajax this season.

Style of Play

Kluivert is not a striker like his dad, but an extremely confident and gifted winger. He has blistering pace, excellent dribbling ability and a slight arrogance to his game which means he is not frightened to take on any opponent. He isn’t particularly tall or strong, but Kluivert is hard to knock off the ball when he gets going and opponents usually have to foul the winger to stop him racing into the box.

Kluivert has an end product to go with his skills and pace but will be looking to become even more lethal in front of goal.

What to expect from Kluivert this season

Football has been mesmerised by the talents of Kylian Mbappe, but in Kluivert, the Netherlands have their own exceptionally gifted winger, who at 18 already looks a top prospect. Kluivert will look to beat off competition from David Neres to remain first choice on the right wing this campaign and told Elf Voetbal that one of his goals for the new campaign is to earn a Netherlands call-up.

Ajax fans will be salivating after watching him tear up Nice and if he can add more goals and assists to his game, then the Amsterdam club will find it difficult to stop a queue of Europe’s biggest clubs forming to snap up the teen next summer.

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