De Ketelaere, Alderweireld, Januzaj, Origi, Vertonghen …: the crazy transfer window of the Red Devils

Rarely has a transfer window been so turbulent for Belgians in Europe. As the international window has closed, we take stock, between hopes and disappointments…

THE transfer: Charles De Ketelaere

This was the saga of the summer: Charles De Ketelaere has indeed been transferred to AC Milan, after long weeks of procrastination. We feared for a time that Club Brugge would play a nasty trick on its nugget, by being too greedy. But CDK ultimately brought in more than 32 million euros to Blauw & Zwart, 35 with bonus according to most sources. The transfer of a life for De Ketelaere.

De Ketelaere Charles
© photonews

Since then, the Red Devil (8 caps) has already seduced Milan. He is not there yet but everyone agrees to say it: « Prince Charles » has the qualities to be a real darling of San Siro. Optimism is in order.

Boyata, Alderweireld and Vertonghen in JPL

On June 3, at the King Baudouin Stadium, Belgium started the Plat Pays derby with a defensive trio Jan Vertonghen, Dedryck Boyata and Toby Alderweireld. Nobody would have bet that three months later, almost to the day, all three would evolve…into D1A. Toby Alderweireld has already proven that he is still clearly up to speed for Antwerp and we prefer to see him there than in Qatar before the World Cup. Boyata and Vertonghen have the level to become pillars in Bruges and Anderlecht.

jan vertonghen

But these transfers are « end-of-career » transfers, rather than relaunch ones. All three seem on the downward slope, even though Boyata is only 31 years old. Very positive point: if all goes well, they will arrive in Qatar with the maximum playing time possible according to their physical condition. That’s probably what prompted this surprising comeback for Vertonghen.

Wout Faes and Arthur Theate: one more level?

And playing will be necessary for the trio above, as two men landed a very promising transfer: Arthur Theate early in the transfer window in Rennes, and Wout Faes at the last minute at Leicester City. Dared, because both were executives in their club and did not « need » this transfer. Theate, transferred for 19 million euros, is already seen as an excellent reinforcement for the ambitious Stade Rennais; he seemed on the right track to go to Qatar, and now has a shot to climb in the hierarchy.

Arthur Theate

Wout Faes, he passes a stage: in Leicester City, of which he is the only « real » reinforcement, the former KV Ostend will test himself. He will have a lot to do replacing Wesley Fofana. We know how fast everything goes in England. There will be many comparisons, the pressure will be much higher than in Reims. But while Faes seemed far in the hierarchy of the Devils defense, he could gain places depending on his adaptation and the start of the competitive season…

Jason Denayer worried

Two months have passed and Jason Denayer still hasn’t signed anywhere. A priori essential, Denayer only needs one thing to go to the 2022 World Cup: to play. Even if he had signed in Saudi Arabia, as expected, he would probably not have been taken out of Roberto Martinez’s plans. But time passes and the ex-Lyonnais still does not have a club. Free, he can commit where he wishes outside the transfer window dates.

jason denayer

Tielemans stayed, Witsel revived

And if, from the fog that surrounds the central defense, it is Axel Witsel who emerged? On a siding in Dortmund, the metronome of our midfield still managed to bounce upwards. A superb transfer to Atlético Madrid, where he is already a boss…as a central defender. Will Martinez still see it as a 6? Or will he take advantage of the abundance of possessions in midfield to take him down a notch? Mystery, but the transfer of Witsel is already a success.

💯% precision in the pase.
💯% duelos ganados.
💯% entradas ganadas.

😍😎 Jugador con más despejes del @Atleti during el #ValenciaAtleti (7).

❤¡@axelwitsel28 𝙚𝙨 𝙪𝙣𝙖 𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙚́𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙖 𝘽𝙀𝙎𝙏𝙄𝘼! 🤍#LaLigaSantander

— LaLiga (@LaLiga) September 1, 2022

Youri Tielemans, he could then secure his starting place in the Devils midfielder. He who did not win his transfer to Arsenal or any other top club, however, will have to digest this disappointment … and help Leicester City to raise their heads after a disastrous start to the season.

Mangala, Onana, Lavia, Dendoncker…it moves in the middle

The cards are reshuffled in midfield: if certain places are assured, such as those of KDB, Tielemans and Witsel but also Leander Dendoncker if he plays even a little at Aston Villa, others have tried a shot. Amadou Onana is a starter at Everton and plays big after a stint at Lille which made him a Devil. Orel Mangala has disappeared from the radar for two games and seems to leave a mixed impression in Nottingham: the selection will be a complicated objective. Romeo Lavia started the season with a bang with Southampton, but was injured for 6 weeks, which almost shattered his dreams. Finally, let us underline the surprising transfer ofAster Vranckx at AC Milan: finding a place in the rossonero environment looks complicated, but who knows.

Onana Amadou

Adnan Januzaj wants to surprise (again)

Like Denayer, he worried: there seemed to be no jostling at the gate to Adnan Januzaj. But when a return to Belgium was almost looming (Antwerp was mentioned), exotic destinations were being considered, Januzaj opted for the athlete and Sevilla FC. If he plays there, and he finds some bite (and statistics), he can succeed in chaining a third consecutive World Cup.

Incredible: ALL the attackers have moved!

Roberto Martinez must hope that his attackers integrate well within their new clubs, because it’s very simple: ALL have been transferred this summer. Romelu Lukaku found a positive environment at Inter Milan, Divock Origi joined him under the other colors of the city. The latter seems for the moment to have traded one bench for another. He could, however, take advantage of the departure of Christian Benteke in MLS to climb the hierarchy.

Openda Laws

Michy Batshuayi, he played with fire while waiting for the last day of the transfer window to finally be concretely departing. But Chelsea proved their disinterest and lack of respect for the player by handing over the files too late. Result: rather than Nottingham Forest, Batshuayui returns to Turkey, to Fenerbahçe. We can only hope for performances, because Michy is 100% sure to go to the World Cup if he is fit. Dries Mertens Nor should he worry if he performs even reasonably at Galatasaray, given his status. The surprise could come from Lois Openda : brilliant with Racing Lens, he could force his place in the group and dismiss Benteke and/or Origi. One thing is certain: Martinez will have more work than he would have liked as the World Cup approaches!

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