Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht have managed to successfully sign Indonesian wonderkid Bagus Kahfi on Friday. 19-year old Bagus has been tied down with a contract that lasts until mid-2022 at the Galgenwaard Stadium with an option to extend for a further two more years.
Bagus, who had made appearances for the Indonesia U-16 and U-19 national teams, became the third Indonesia international to join an European club, following Egy Maulana Vikri at Poland’s Lechia Gdansk and Witan Sulaeman at Serbia’s FK Radnik Surdulica.
Despite being officially contracted to FC Utrecht, Bagus will not be playing for the senior team straight away. His young age meant that FC Utrecht plans on developing him further as a player first before throwing him into the front-lines, meaning that Bagus will have to start off from the Eredivisie side’s U-19 team first before working his way up into the first team.
“Bagus is a creative and technically-skilled player and he’s a good dribbler of the ball,” said FC Utrecht technical director Jordy Zuidam, as quoted from both FC Utrecht’s official website and Goal Indonesia, “He has proven himself in club and country level that he has what it takes to score goals. The switch from Indonesia to Europe could be overwhelming for Bagus, which is why we decide to let him adapt himself with the climate here at our U-19 team in the near future where he can integrate himself with our program. We will do everything that we can to develop Bagus at our club.”
In the process of signing for FC Utrecht, Bagus had to face a number of hurdles. Administrative issues meant that Bagus were unable to sign his European contract right away and his move to FC Utrecht was on the verge of breaking down altogether, however Bagus managed to discuss his move to the Netherlands with his club Barito Putera. Despite Bagus still has a contract with the Laskar Antasari until the end of 2021, his talks with the club’s management worked and Barito Putera finally allowed FC Utrecht to have their man.
Prior to joining FC Utrecht, Bagus had done some consultations with three Indonesian players who had prior history with the club. Both Irfan Bachdim and Stefano Lilipaly had stints at FC Utrecht’s first team, while newly naturalized Marc Klok was an FC Utrecht academy product. The trio managed to fill Bagus in to what to expect in the Netherlands, each of them hoping that their advices would help Bagus adapt himself to his new surroundings quicker.
Good luck in the Netherlands, Bagus!