This summer transfer window has just arrived. The 1st of July comes, players leave thanks to the Bosman ruling, or, they’re of course transferred. Money has come into the Pro League via Ligue 1, the Premier League and Bundesliga thanks to Monaco, Everton and Wolfsburg accumulating a figure around €37 million. Thanks to that, it’ll either be invested in recruitment or spent around the club in other ways, but a number of bigger players have left, for example Youri Tielemans, Henry Onyekuru and Nany Dimata within the aforementioned leagues above, but those clubs need to replace them with other big players.
The Champions seem to be the only team actually reinvesting that money in recruitment so far signing top players within the league such as Pieter Gerkens and, well, I’m guessing a loan fee for Onyekuru. The point of this post is that Belgian clubs certainly can’t hold on to who they have. Players from Belgium who may seem average or even decent will be picked off from other leagues because of age, potential and so on. But this season players are spread across the league too, even to clubs of similar standard.
Let’s look at Jeremy Perbet. Maybe not the best player at Gent, thanks to Kalinic or Kubo, but still very good in the Pro League, but moving to Club Brugge shows that clubs are showing clout! Sint Truiden have had players picked off, like the already mentioned Gerkins and also Stef Peeters. Westerlo inevitably lost Acolatse as well as Ganvoula M’Boussy too. And the second tier just didn’t lose them now, with Lierse, Roeselare and Union Saint Gilloise also having to sell Benson, Kehli and Rajsel to top flight sides. Those transfers are understandable. You can’t stop good players from progressing.
And to the present. Will the time come where maybe Mats Rits may move on? Will Alejandro Pozuelo be bought from another league? Even Ishak Belfodil? Will he be moving to pastures new? No player or club is safe, especially and unfortunately in Belgium as money does indeed talk. These players do have a price and these players do have a career. The thing is when you’re best player within the league is worth just £20 million, that’s pocket money to some clubs. So every player within the league, from Oostende, across to Club Brugge, Anderlecht, up to Genk and down to Standard Liege, no player is unaffordable at any price.
I won’t lie, I have been unhappy as a supporter of the league, not a club, as I enjoy seeing these players play, grow, progress, take control and guide their teams up the league. It’s fascinating. And when you see the best players move away rather than just within the league, it does give somebody else the chance to take the league by the scruff of the neck, but it does damage the quality slightly. That will always happen when better players move.
I guess the fun is who will now take the mantle and rise the top of this crazy league?