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First Team

In profile: Arnaut Danjuma

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Exciting attacking prospect Arnaut Danjuma became AFC Bournemouth’s fourth summer signing of 2019 when he joined from Belgian outfit Club Brugge.

The 22-year-old frontman had been tracked by a host of clubs across Europe having starred for club and country during the past 12 months.

Danjuma earned his move to Brugge in June 2018 after catching the eye while plying his trade in the Dutch second flight for NEC Nijmegen.

And in his first season in Belgium, the flying winger helped Brugge finish second in the league, scored in the Champions League and netted on his full international debut for Netherlands.  

Born in Lagos to a Dutch father and Nigerian mother, Danjuma moved to the Netherlands at a young age and was snapped up by PSV Eindhoven following spells with amateur clubs RKSV Margriet and FC Oss.

Despite progressing through the academy at PSV and spending eight years at the club, he made just one appearance for their reserves and was released in 2016.

Signed on a free transfer by NEC in June 2016, Danjuma was quickly elevated into the first-team squad and was handed his Eredivisie debut as a late substitute in a 4-0 defeat by PSV early in the 2016/17 season.

Danjuma went on to establish himself in the NEC line-up and scored his first goal in the Eredivisie during a 2-0 win at Heerenveen in May 2017.

However, his heroics failed to save NEC from relegation with Danjuma starting both legs of their play-off against NAC Breda as their two-year stay in the top flight ended.

Danjuma became a sensation in the Dutch second flight, scoring 13 times and providing 17 assists in all competitions during an injury-interrupted campaign.

He was also drafted into the Netherlands under-21 squad for the first time and netted on his debut to earn them a 1-0 win in Andorra in a European Under-21 Championship qualifier in March 2018.

As NEC failed to win promotion, clubs came calling for Danjuma with 15-time Belgian champions Brugge securing his signature for a fee reported to have been around €2 million.

Danjuma made his debut as Brugge beat Standard Liege to claim a record 15th Belgian Super Cup in July 2018 and quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite at the Jan Breydel Stadium.

He scored his first goals for the club when he hit a double in their 3-0 win over Kortrijk in August 2018 and made his debut in the Champions League during a 1-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund the following month.

Danjuma also won two further caps for Netherlands under-21s in September 2018, featuring in European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Scotland and England, with Cherries pair Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke on duty for the Three Lions in a 0-0 draw at Norwich’s Carrow Road.

The highlight of his club career came when Danjuma announced himself on the European stage by scoring a stunning goal to equalise against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, only for Antoine Griezmann’s brace and an effort from Koke to earn the Spanish club a 3-1 victory.

Just ten days after scoring against Atletico, Danjuma was handed his debut by Netherlands, boss Ronald Koeman bringing him off the bench in a 3-0 win over Germany in the Nations League in Amsterdam, with Nathan Ake also featuring for the Dutch.

And just three days later, Danjuma marked his full debut for Netherlands by bagging an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Belgium in a friendly in Brussels.

Although Danjuma missed a chunk of the 2018/19 season due to injury, he hit five goals in 20 league appearances for Brugge.

He started their First Division A curtain-raiser against Waasland-Beveren on Saturday and came off three minutes from the end of Brugge’s 3-1 win.

A scouting report written in January by football analyst Mizgan Masani said: “In terms of the attributes he possesses, he has the pace to terrorise defenders in the wide areas.

“He can dribble past defenders and create space for a cross or a shot on goal. His physicality allows him to hold off players and take good care of the ball in counter-attacking situations.

“All in all, he is almost a complete winger who has a few ironings to do in his game to become one of the best in the world. His arrival in the Premier League would be a welcome sight.”

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