View from Serie A: Juan Iturbe to Bournemouth

According to various reports, Roma’s 22-year-old Juan Iturbe is all set to join Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth on loan in January for the remainder of the season.

With an option to buy the Argentine for £16 million, the player represents some coup for the newly promoted side especially if he hits the ground running. But what can Bournemouth fans expect from the former FC Porto player? We asked AS Roma Press who tells all about Juan Iturbe.

In one word, describe Iturbe for Bournemouth fans.

Unknown.

This was a player once described as one of many new Lionel Messis — what happened at Roma?

Iturbe failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for him upon his arrival. He didn’t seem to fit very well in Rudi Garcia’s system and seemed extremely timid to take defenders on one versus one. In short, the pressure of Rome gobbled him up.

Do you still see potential in him?

Absolutely, he has loads of untapped potential, it will take the right atmosphere and manager for him to turn his potential into reality.

What are his best qualities?

His speed and his ability to shoot from distance. Anytime Iturbe steps on to the pitch, he’s either the fastest or one of the fastest players.

What are his worst qualities?

His first touch is one of the worst in football. This is no exaggeration, either. He has an absolute lead foot nearly every time he receives the ball, which is a huge problem when he is making his runs into the area and he over-hits the ball. This is something he must absolutely work on if he wants to take a step-up in quality.

Does he suit the Premier League?

I believe so. He’s very quick, but he is used to the technicality of Italy and not the physically imposing style of football in England, which is something he must adapt to quickly.

He is likely to be the star at Bournemouth. Is he better off being a big fish in a small pond?

For now, yes. Iturbe looked far overmatched when playing in the Champions League, even against smaller sides like BATE Borisov. The stage was too bright for him. He needs to regain his confidence at a smaller club and maybe then he’ll be able to make another step in quality.

Any last thoughts on Iturbe?

It’s a shame the way things ended at Roma, but it’s a good move for all parties involved. Roma get to move on with a failed “experiment” and have a chance to make a profit on Iturbe. Bournemouth gets potential budding star who will be well worth the fee if he rediscovers his magic.

Lastly, Iturbe gets a chance at a fresh start in a less-demanding atmosphere while getting to start every single week: a win-win-win for everybody involved.

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