Antwerp and the (ex-) Red Devils, this new love story

Toby Alderweireld is the eighth (ex-) Red Devil to join Antwerp in the club’s recent history.

One thing is for sure, Antwerp is clearly showing its ambitions during the summer transfer window. In addition, arrivals of Christopher Scott and DAnthony ValenciaThe Great Old also recorded arrivals of Vincent Janssen and of Toby Alderweireldwho has about 121 choices with the red devils.

In the club’s recent history, the 33-year-old central defender is far from the only (ex-) Red Devil to join Bosuil. Of Ritchie DeLaet on Steven DefourPassing by Jordan Lukaku, Birger Verstraete and Kevin Mirallasa look back at the achievements of the former Red Devils with Matricule 1.

Steven Defour, Kévin Mirallas and Jordan Lukaku, the big disappointments

Great hope for our Belgian football when he left Standard de Liège in 2011, Steven Defour has never met all the expectations placed on him despite some interesting passages in his career. Arrived in Antwerp in 2019 from Burnley, the man with 52 international appearances with the Red Devils often had to deal with injuries during his time in Antwerp. After eleven small meetings in the 2019-2020 season, he was released by Great Old.

Arrived in Antwerp at the same time Steven Defour, Kevin Mirallas was also one of the disappointments of this season 2019-2020. When he was released from Everton, the right wing never brought what his 60 national elections entailed. His conflict-ridden relationship with Laszlo Böloni allowed him to play only 18 small meetings with the big old one.

After a successful season in KV Oostende, Jordan Lukaku had decided to join Lazio Rome to give a further boost to his career. It is clear that it was far too early. The left-back, when he returned on loan to our league after an almost anecdotal stay in Italy, failed to restart his career at Antwerp. Thirty meetings after his arrival, Jordan Lukaku returned to Lazio, who immediately loaned him to Vicenza. He is now without a club.

Jelle Van Damme, Birger Verstraete and Ritchie De Laet, the good surprises

Arrived in 2017 with 31 choices on the clock, Jelle Van Damme has achieved great things with Antwerp. For two seasons, the former player from Standard de Liège and Sporting d’Anderlecht showed all his passion and fighting spirit on his left side. Two seasons and 58 games later, he must quietly end his career in Lokeren after conquering the supporters of the Great Old.

He is the player on this list who has worn the Diables Rouge jacket the least often, as he has only done so once. Arrived from Cologne in 2020 on loan, Birger Verstraete convinced the Antwerp management, who finally bought him last summer for 2 million euros. 71 games later, the defensive midfielder is still a valued force in Antwerp’s midfield.

After a very eventful start to his career in England, Ritchie DeLaet came to Antwerp for the first time in 2018, on loan from Aston Villa. He then came to Melbourne City and Australia on loan before committing freely with the Great Old. And it is clear that it is a huge satisfaction. 134 games later he has become a real galleon figure for the Antwerp club. Adored by Matricule 1 supporters, he must be an example of integration into our championship after a stay in a more exotic country for Toby Alderweireld.

Radja Nainggolan, question mark

Despite a very important player status in the Italian league when he arrived in our league last season, Radja Nainggolan never managed to impose himself in an obvious way in Brian Priske’s students last season.

Despite about 36 appearances last season, the midfielder never lived up to the expectations placed on him. The message from Mark Van Bommel and Marc Overmars is clear: The 34-year-old needs to get wetter this season if he is not to lose his starting place.

In an ambitious team that runs well, the former Inter Milan player has all the necessary qualities to improve his team.

Toby Alderweireld, which direction should you take?

The former player from Tottenham, Atlético de Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam will therefore be the eighth (ex-) Red Devil to join Antwerp in the club’s recent history. Will he take a course that allows Antwerp to compete for the title of Club Brugge this season? Reply within the next few months!

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