You might have missed it, but Justin Kluivert made his debut for Ajax on Sunday. Well, who am I kidding, you didn’t miss it. Even if you couldn’t catch the game, you probably got absolutely bombarded with pieces and videos about our new academy export. And that’s why I want to ask everyone the following: please shut the hell up about Kluivert.
It’s not that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy his performance on Sunday, but we are talking about sixty minutes in an away game against a relegation-battling side. However, he has been praised by Marco van Basten, interviewed by seven TV Networks and included in the Team of The Week by De Telegraaf. You know what that reminds me of?
Literally every attacker who came through our academy in the last ten years. You don’t have to think long and hard to name a few examples. Aras Özbiliz, Lorenzo Ebecilio, Ricardo Kishna, Anwar El Ghazi: all were hailed as enormous talents after making their debuts. All completely failed to live up to those expectations. And that’s because this initial praise often is the beginning of a cycle.
Did you hear about this 17-year-old kid who made his Ajax debut? pic.twitter.com/7k4d4auJzh
— AjaxDaily (@ajaxdailydotcom) January 16, 2017
After people hail a young talent as great, there often is some sort of honeymoon period. In this period, good games are being received as being fantastic games, while poor games are being overlooked. When this honeymoon period is over, however, and people start expecting more from youngsters like them, their inconsistency starts to show. People are becoming more critical, and the youngsters don’t know how to deal with this, because they were told they were the best player on earth for about six months.
I actually like Kluivert way more than I did the likes of Kishna and El Ghazi. And I want him to succeed so badly. That’s why I’m asking you this: keep calm. Don’t rant on Twitter when he doesn’t make it into the starting eleven. Don’t ask Danny Blind to call him up for Oranje (although, if Blind’s considering Brandley Kuwas, Kluivert has to be close) and don’t lose your sh*t when he gets “demoted” to Jong Ajax for a while.
For f*cking once.
Give a youngster some time. We will benefit in the long run.