EPL

Kluivert watching Ronaldo, Haaland and Hazard to prepare for Premier League debut

By Sports Desk August 09, 2023

Justin Kluivert has named Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland, Eden Hazard and Son Heung-min among his Premier League inspirations as he prepares to start his career in England with Bournemouth.

The Dutch attacker, son of Barcelona great Patrick Kluivert, has admired the impact made by Manchester City striker Haaland after arriving in the division.

Kluivert has joined Bournemouth from Roma ahead of the new Premier League season.

Having also had loan spells with RB Leipzig, Nice and Valencia, he will complete the set of playing in each of Europe's top five leagues when he makes his debut for the club.

Kluivert is delighted his chance to play in the Premier League has come and has been watching some of English football's greatest recent performers to prepare.

"I've watched a lot of YouTube of course and you watch a lot of Cristiano Ronaldo," Kluivert said to Stats Perform.

"Eden Hazard in his best days at Chelsea was unbelievable if you ask me, so yeah, those are players I like to watch or Heung-min Son maybe – someone like that, a type that is very straight to the goal – I like that."

Asked if he had tracked Haaland's record 36-goal debut top-flight season in England, Kluivert added: "Of course. You always need to look at the guys who are successful in what they do.

"You learn a lot from a player like Haaland or players that have played there like Ronaldo or Eden Hazard. 

"You have a bunch more too and of course you need to look at them, how they have done it and maybe you can learn some stuff from them. It's always good to learn to get the best of yourself."

Kluivert understands that the opportunity to play in all of Europe's top-five leagues, as well as the Eredivisie in Ajax where he started out, is a rare feat, especially doing so by the age of 24.

"All top five leagues, there are not a lot of players who have done that," Kluivert said.

"First of all, I'm very happy to have played at all these clubs, it's an honour. 

"To end in the Premier League, it's the best league in the world, so I'm very happy with that and happy for the opportunity that Bournemouth gave me.

"I'm very happy to be here and to represent Bournemouth, a beautiful club and I can't wait to get started. 

"So I could say that I have a lot in my backpack and can't wait to take them all out to show them here in this great league."

Kluivert thinks the style of play in England should suit him nicely.

He added: "I played in Italy [first]. Germany has, like France, has a little bit of the Italian philosophy, but also parts from the Spanish game, it's right in the middle. 

"And it's nice that when I played in France, Italy, Spain, they all have little bits that are the same but, for me, France is more physical, Italy is also, and then in Spain there is more football. 

"And I think the Premier League is more like you can relate it to La Liga, because the teams want to attack, they want to keep the ball and press. 

"That's a philosophy that the Premier League also has. So yeah, I'm happy to be here on that level."

Kluivert, who earned his two caps for the Netherlands in 2018, thinks the style of play in the Premier League and La Liga is the best fit for his game.

"Yeah [it suits me more]," he said. "Italy is more what I think of as a more defensive, a more tactical game. 

"And Spain was more you have a lot of good footballers who want to attack. 

"They attack with the whole team so there is more space in the back and the football games also are much nicer for the fans to watch – I think the Premier League also has that. 

"That's also good for me to show my qualities. So I'm happy to be here."

Bournemouth begin their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Saturday.

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