Bacuna relishing Premier chance at Terriers

TENACIOUS, aggressive, unrelenting in terms of work-rate and mobile.

Juninho Bacuna on international duty with Holland Under-21s earlier this year (Picture: Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Those footballing qualities figure towards the very top of the check-list of credentials that Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner demands from prospective new outfield arrivals and the evidence suggests that they have landed another signing abundant in those attributes in Netherlands Under-21 midfielder Juninho Bacuna.

The FC Groningen player, 20, has become Town’s fourth summer transfer window signing so far this month after joining for an undisclosed fee – reportedly in the region of £2.6m – and follows on from the signings of club record capture Terence Kongolo, winger Ramadan Sobhi and keeper Ben Hamer.

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Following the completion of the deal to sign Bacuna, who has penned a three-year contract with the option of a fourth, Town are likely to now focus on bringing in some pacy additions to boost their offensive department.

New Huddersfield Town signing Juninho Bacuna. (Picture: John Early/Getty Images)

Bacuna, younger brother of Reading winger Leandro, becomes the second member of a Dutch footballing family to join Town, with full Holland international Kongolo’s younger sibling Rodney being on the books of Manchester City.

Bacuna’s big brother may painted a positive picture regarding the emergence of Huddersfield on the domestic scene over the past few years, but in truth, Town’s new arrival hardly needed much convincing to join the diaspora of Dutch footballers who have taken that well-travelled route fron one side of the North Sea to the other.

Bacuna, who joins compatriots Kongolo and Rajiv van La Parra at the club, said: “I spoke to my brother about it and he said that Huddersfield is a club who want to build and that it is a good step for me to go there as a young player to experience this club and to keep moving on.

“He also said that I have to know the feeling about it myself, but what he said was that it is a good step for me.”

On how the move transpired, Bacuna, who – despite still being only 20 – has played for Groningen for the past three-and-a-half seasons, making 95 appearances since making his debut at the age of 17, said: “I was with the (Under 21s) national team in Bolivia and Paraguay and in the last two days, the agent called me and said Huddersfield were interested in me.

“I then had a meeting with the coach and saw what he and the club wanted from me at the end of May. I was excited about it because Huddersfield is a nice club and I knew they played in the Premier League and my dream was always to play there.”

Bacuna’s all-action style, mobility, and technical proficiency in a holding role or further forward will provide Town with another central midfield alternative and he believes that his skillset will be ideally suited to the English game too.

“For me, I think the Premier League is something that is for me, with the style and everything. I think I can play in it,” Bacuna observed.

“I am a player who works hard and gives everything and never wants to lose. I also like to attack and go forward and give assists and help the team.

“It is a little bit similar here to the way we play at Groningen, so I know a little bit about it. I have seen some clips and it is good for me to be here and I like to pressurise and attack and help defend as a team. He (Wagner) showed me a few clips and showed how excited he was for me to come over. He liked the clips he saw of me and thinks I am a good player to help this team.”

Town may have made several inroads into the transfer market already, but neighbours Leeds United are yet to make a mark yet this summer, but that is likely to change in the near future.

Managing director Angus Kinnear has confirmed that the club – awaiting the eagerly-anticipated arrival of new head coach Marcelo Bielsa this weekend – are in ‘advanced talks’ with several targets.

Early moves have been of the outward variety, with Madger Gomes and Felix Wiedwald both leaving, with Brescia in talks to sign forward Marcus Antonsson.

During the courtship of Bielsa, the revered ex-Argentina and Chile coach spoke to the club hierarchy extensively about recruitment targets, with preliminary work having already been undertaken by director of football Victor Orta regarding a number of potential recruits including Matej Vydra, Abel Hernandez, Kyle Bartley, Angus Gunn and David Stockdale.

It is envisaged that several moves will come to fruition shortly, with Leeds also linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian centre-back Juan Foyth.

Kinnear said: “I know some people were frustrated about the length of the process in getting him (Bielsa) to sign, but during that process, he was more focused on the team’s preparation than he was on getting the finer details of the contract agreed.

“So a lot of those conversations in terms of what we need to do from a transfer perspective are well advanced.”