Former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert believes a move to Manchester United over the summer for his son, Patrick, would have been too difficult for somebody his age.
The youngster broke into the Ajax first team aged 17 and impressed with his zeal out wide in his first season at the club, which ended with an animated conversation with Jose Mourinho on the pitch in Stockholm that many perceived as an attempt to lure him to Old Trafford.
This was denied by both parties, and after some limited speculation over the summer he joined Roma on a permanent deal for around £15m.
Speaking to Italian media outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Patrick noted that joining Man United would have been too much too soon for his son.
“I’m very satisfied with what he is doing,” he said.
“He doesn’t speak much, but he is someone who knows how to listen and is motivated, I would have liked to stay in Ajax for another year, but he chose for himself. I think Roma is a good solution.”
“A jump to the Premier League would have been difficult… I think United would have been too big a jump. Roma is an important club, but the pressures are lower.
“Roma must not win by force and it is a club that is used to good football. It is the ideal place for Justin right now. Then, who doesn’t dream of Barcelona? But Italian football is catching up and Justin can take advantage of it.”
It is unlikely that Kluivert was ever a real target for Mourinho, whose emphasis over the summer was on players like Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic, or Willian, who can be best described as physical workers. Wingers in the old fashioned sense: bustling, aggressive, disciplined.
Kluivert, who is only 19, would have been a mould closer to that of Anthony Martial, whose last two years are hardly a ringing endorsement to join United.