The winger has gone from the Championship to the Champions League in the space of just a few months – and is now primed for a big meeting with Manchester United
Arnaut Danjuma has come a long way in just a few months.
From playing in the Championship as recently as May, he’s now poised for a big Champions League game under the lights at Old Trafford.
And in the not-too-distant future he could well be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk.
Mane, 29, is currently under contract with Liverpool until 2023, though talks are believed to have begun over a new deal.
Liverpool are keeping tabs on possible replacements however, in the event Mane does move on in the near future.
And it could well be that Dutch international Danjuma is the man to eventually succeed Mane at Anfield – especially if his form and career trajectory continues in the same manner.
Flash back to the summer and his signing Europa League holders Villarreal was somewhat of a surprise.
Granted, he shone for the Cherries in the 2020-21 campaign with 15 goals in what was a breakthrough campaign.
But how many top flight teams from abroad usually take a punt on someone who is unproven at the top level?
Danjuma played just a handful of times in Bournemouth’s relegation campaign of 2019-20, even going six months without playing.
But he really burst into life in his second season, in the Championship, and was named player of the year as the Cherries fell at the play-off semi-final hurdle.
His old boss Jonathan Woodgate said of Danjuma: “I see him as doing what he wants to do in the game.
“He can go as high as he wants to, but he’s got to always want more, always try to be that best.”
A £21million to Spain followed this summer but the speed at which Danjuma has adapted to his new surroundings has perhaps caught many off-guard.
In five games he has already grabbed two goals, as well as another as a sub in Villarreal’s Champions League draw with Atalanta on matchday one.
Speaking after the game, boss Unai Emery said: “The idea was to bring in fresh players, guys who have experience at this level.
“Danjuma is still in a learning process, he still has to adapt, but that is actually happening very quickly. He has a good click with his teammates, and played very well tonight.”
Tonight sees Emery’s side renew hostilities with Man United after they beat them in last season’s Europa League final, eventually coming out on top a marathon penalty shoot-out.
If Danjuma can replicate his recent form and ensure United suffer another defeat to go with their opening loss at Young Boys, then he will only enhance his burgeoning reputation among Europe’s big boys.
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