“Play 4-4-2? Yes, which automatically involves recruiting from the sides. This is my model of play over the last few seasons in Lille and Saint-Étienne, and it generates a search for specific players, with depth and speed. I’m not asking for names, I need profiles. “ In an interview with The team mid-July, the new coach of OGC Nice Christophe Galtier had sent a message to his management concerning the transfer window. And he was heard. Since then, Calvin Stengs has been recruited for the right wing, while Justin Kluivert has been loaned to him with an option to buy (around € 10m) by AS Roma for the left flank. But if the first comes out of a good season with AZ Alkmaar, the other must start again.
Like Olympique de Marseille, who managed to get Cengiz Ünder on loan, OGC Nice did business with the Louve club for the Dutch winger. And as on the Canebière where the Turk is trying to bounce back, Justin Kluivert intends to return to his best level on the Côte d’Azur. Recruited by the Giallorossi for 17 million euros in the summer of 2018, with necessarily a future star status, the son of Patrick Luivert was not the holder all the time during his first season in Italy under the orders of Eusebio Di Francesco, before Claudio Ranieri gave him a little more chance at the end of the year. In 2019-2020, the playing time is much longer with Paulo Fonseca but the Dutchman does not raise the crowds (7 goals, 2 caviars in 31 matches tcc). Then comes the time to leave.
A sometimes fragile physique
Loaned to RB Leipzig at the very end of the transfer window, on October 5 precisely, Justin Kluivert then arrives in a team where he must quickly prove himself. But not everything goes as planned.“At first his problem was that he arrived very late in Leipzig. They had already played three matches. And without being with Leipzig in the preseason, he was a little late. So he had to arrive in a team that was already playing well and had players like Nkunku and Forsberg on the wings. So he didn’t have a lot of playing time ”, explains our colleague Georg Kreul from Fussball Transfers. A complicated start before a calf injury in December, which will keep him away from the pitch for 1 month.
– OGC Nice (@ogcnice) July 21, 2021
Because it was indeed the number 1 problem of Justin Kluivert: physical condition. RBL coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about it last February. “There was a point where we saw the Justin we were hoping for. Against Bayern and against Manchester United. (…) But I don’t see him enough in training. This is the problem. He’s a little too prone to injury and needs to be more stable in that regard ”, had explained the now new coach of Bayern about the Dutchman. Because at that time, the main concerned had this time injured his ankle, missing a few matches.
4-4-2, a perfect system for Kluivert?
Not titular in the mind of Julian Nagelsmann, unwelcome injuries, qualities not exposed to the light of day. In Germany, Justin Kluivert therefore struggled to provide real satisfaction. And it must be said that the system set up by the German technician has not helped. “The other problem is that Nagelsmann changed his system very often, in particular to set up a 4-3-1-2, where he did not use winger. So in addition to strong competition, there was the problem of training ”, adds Georg Kreul on the passage of the former Ajacide across the Rhine. Obviously, the 4-4-2 is a pattern more suited to the style of play of Justin Kluivert, skilful with both feet, technique and fast.
According to falls well because with his new team, Christophe Galtier intends to impose it on his players. With Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikoné on the sidelines last season at LOSC, the 54-year-old coach was served with a lot of movement and availability. It remains to be seen whether he will be as happy, or even more, with the two Oranje Calvin Stengs and Justin Kluivert. In any case, the last named will do everything to perform, relaunch and return to the front of the stage at 22 years old and after a few difficult seasons.