Now…Before I begin, if anyone ACTUALLY reads this I had a very small group of players who actually fit the criteria regarding this post. Obviously the age bracket is 16-21, with the exception of the goalkeeper because going by my research, and no doubt I’ll be incorrect somewhere, nobody within that age bracket played a top flight match. So I went with the goalkeeper who fit my next criteria, who also happened to be the youngest too.
So…To begin with in goal, I chose this player due to the fact he was the youngest goalkeeper who played 10 or more matches. Oh yes, before I continue, that was the second point. They would’ve had to of played 10 or more matches unless they were 16-21 or there wasn’t enough who’d played that much so I had to go with the player who played the most between 16-21. If I’ve bored you, then I’ve successfully bored everyone including myself!!!
Goalkeeper – Hendrik van Crombrugge EUPEN
He is in goal as he played the most matches as the youngest goalkeeper. Well…There was 1 younger, but to have competed in 3 matches I felt wasn’t sufficient.
Defenders – Dion Cools CLUB BRUGGE, Ibrahim Diallo EUPEN, Aristote Nkaka MOUSCRON, Emmanuel Sowah Adjey ANDERLECHT
This defence doesn’t only work positionally with 4 at the back starting with right back Dion Cools across the defence, but they pick themselves as being within this age demographic for this post. What it shows for me is that you have a 16 team league with a huge lack of young defenders, but a whole lot of over 30 defenders. Obviously I could’ve brought this up with the goalkeeping situation too, but you’d have to be a Donnarumma at AC Milan to go straight in as a young, inexperienced goalkeeper. So, no offense to a couple of players here, I scraped the barrel.
Midfielders – Sidy Sarr KORTRIJK, Jean Thierry Lazare Armani EUPEN, Bryan Heynen GENK, Youri Tielemans ANDERLECHT
Much like the goalkeeper and defensive situation, lack of under 21 numbers proved to be the downfall in lack of numbers. The positive is the quality throughout. Just a shame in lack of numbers because these clubs love boasting on social media about their young Beloften squads doing well, but how about progressing a couple? Even for 10 minutes in matches? Just to either see if they can cut it in the Pro League or to see if, needs must, they have the physical and mental strength to progress. The next Youri Tielemans may be playing tonight in a pointless u21 fixture when the man himself who I just named is just wowing everyone week in, week out.
Strikers – Henry Onyekuru EUPEN, Nany Dimata OOSTENDE
Now…This was the most difficult section because Wesley, Eric Ocansey and Silvère Ganvoula M’Boussy all missed out. I’ve chosen the 2 above due to goalscoring ability. I mention them regularly and in the case of one of them (Onyekuru) they literally save their team regularly. I just think that the strength up top who are u21 may be because of the aging defences in the Pro League, going by the lack of youngsters in this. I’m not saying there aren’t young defences as you still have 22-29 year olds but still…
This also shows that Eupen and Anderlecht have the most youngsters actively getting minutes. Eupen have the most quite easily. The other thing is that if I did this before the start of the season, the list would be bigger as there are 22 year olds who of course have aged, but I just think a league that may not entice a lot of players, youth may be the answer?