A few weeks ago, Club Brugge hired the Croatian as the replacement for Michel Preud’homme in the form of Ivan Leko. I wouldn’t say I was scathing, but I did, like most, have an opinion about the former Sint Truiden manager taking over at the Jan Breydel Stadion. Now we’re into July, the transfer window is officially open (as of yesterday) and some of the signings have been pretty decent, before and after his tenure began.
Elton Acolatse was onboard before his acquisition and since then, he has steadily been building by signing some decent players, like Anderlecht, from the teams around him. With Acolatse, you now have Guillaume Hubert, Jordi Vanlerberghe and now Jeremy Perbet after the club announced his signing from Gent yesterday, and most memorably, the match winner against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League.
The only problem I guess is his embarrassment of riches up front. With the aforementioned Acolatse and Perbet, you also have, and this is a fair list, Wesley, Vossen, Rafaelov, Izquierdo, Limbombe, Strandberg and Diaby! To keep all those happy, either loan deals will have to happen, or, they’ll have to know that a pairing is for Europe, one for league matches and others for cup games. I mean, depending on the formation, will Perbet, Izquierdo, Rafaelov, Wesley and Jelle Vossen settle for the bench?
Along with that, with Hubert signing, will Ludovic Butelle or Ethan Horvath settle for the bench, when the former was holding the clean sheet title in the regular league, and the young American international was performing so well in the play offs? It’s a good selection headache to have, and that’s where I’m asking have I got it all wrong? I still believe Anderlecht will win the league, especially after the loan signing of another striker themselves in Henry Onyekuru, but I truly believe they may progress in Europe too. But I won’t continue on Anderlecht within this.
The Blauw-Zwart begin their hunt to win back the title against against Lokeren at the Daknamstadion. Looking at their first five matches, and obviously it’s a new season, but Zulte Waregem away on matchday three at the Regenboogstadion is potentially their toughest match until mid September, when they have Mechelen, Charleroi, Gent and Oostende on the bounce! A good start always helps when tough times happen later in the season, but maintaining a good, strong and tough stance on the pitch, showing resilience.
With a Champions League qualifier also to come, Europe could either work as a distraction or a springboard. It helped (and sorry again) Anderlecht in the run in, boosting confidence, and that could happen for Brugge, but it’ll be difficult nonetheless to juggle both. Hopefully the team will perform better this season than last in Europe anyway, and with this depth they may well do so!