Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma is rumoured to be attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool with the Reds beginning to think about a future beyond 29-year-old trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Villarreal, who will be competing in the Champions League this season after winning the Europa League, are also linked with 24-year-old Danjuma and he could be on the move this summer.
Here’s a closer look at Danjuma’s background, key information and his style of play…
Tough upbringing & difficult journey
Danjuma has had to fight for his football career after experiencing an extremely tough upbringing which saw him end up homeless and later raised in foster care.
He was born in Nigeria but moved to the city of Oss in Netherlands with his family at the age of four. His parents then split up and there were around two weeks at the age of five when he, his brother, sister and mother had nowhere to live and slept in their car.
Danjuma and his siblings eventually ended up being taken into care and he recalled in an interview with The Times in March 2021 that his foster family were not willing to take him to football training.
“They weren’t willing to bring me to training so I got really annoyed by that,” he explained. “But my father luckily came all the way to the foster family, picked me up and took me to football, and then brought me back to them and went back to his place. I was lucky that my father still took charge of everything because otherwise it would have been very difficult for me.”
Danjuma was scouted by local club Top Oss at the age of 11 and soon had permission to move in with his father, with PSV Eindhoven taking him on only weeks after that. He spent eight years with PSV, before moving on in 2016 and starting his senior career with NEC Nijmegen.
Not short of ambition
Danjuma is a very ambitious players and has made no secret of it. He joined Club Brugge in 2018 and played twice in the Champions League in his debut season, before Bournemouth, then in the Premier League, paid nearly £14m for him in the summer of 2019.
He played only sparingly, largely because of injury, and the Cherries were relegated. But while the player eventually thrived in the Championship, he risked the wrath of Bournemouth fans when he said, “I don’t think I can play another Championship season, I’ve outgrown the competition a bit.”
In the same comments to Voetbal International, Danjuma also said it would be ‘nice’ to join Leeds following rumours of interest from Elland Road.
In his interview with The Times earlier in the year, Danjuma had already commented, “I’m used to the Champions League, not the Championship.”
Passionate & outspoken
Danjuma is not afraid to share his opinion on things that are important to him and made himself crystal clear when asked for his thoughts on claims from critics that taking the knee before games to protest racism in football and society is a waste of time.
“It really p***** me off when people say that,” he told Sky Sports in March 2021.
“It really frustrates me when people say that. I definitely feel it's not a waste of time, and anyone who says it needs to look in the mirror. It is a very important subject to speak about, and reach out to others about. Anyone who says that should educate themselves more as well.
“So it's important to keep taking a knee, it still has an impact and it's important to remind others.”
Right-footed player on the left wing
Danjuma is right-footed winger who primarily operates from the left flank and scores plenty of goals, which instantly gives a strong indication of his style of play.
It was a good start to the 2020/21 season for both Danjuma and Bournemouth in the Championship. He scored five times in his first 12 appearances as the Cherries climbed as high as second in the table, before his season was interrupted and he was ruled out from late November until mid-January.
Bournemouth’s form was patchy without him and when he found his rhythm again from the end of February, the team started consistently winning again. He scored nine goals in his final 13 Championship appearances, plus another two in the playoffs.
Danjuma was born in Nigeria to a Dutch father and Nigerian mother and has lived in Netherlands for most of his life. He was eligible to represent both national teams but opted to represent the Oranje when he was called up to the senior squad by former coach Ronald Koeman in 2018.
Danjuma played twice, coming off the bench in a UEFA Nations League win over Germany and starting in a friendly against Belgium, scoring in a 1-1 draw.
He is yet to make any further international appearances but will hope that a high profile summer transfer and good form this season puts him back in contention in the build up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the end of next year.