Teamwork makes the dream work

Royal Antwerp reply to Barcelona curiosity in star billed as Sergio Busquets successor

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Royal Antwerp boss Mark van Bommel has joked he’ll refuse to speak to Barcelona counterpart Xavi about midfielder Arthur Vermeeren for worry of dropping the teenage star.

Vermeeren broke into Antwerp’s senior facet final season aged 17 and has grow to be more and more essential for the Belgian facet as they embark on a primary European Cup marketing campaign since getting knocked out by Actual Madrid within the first spherical in 1957/58.

The teen has gained a Belgian league and cup double along with his boyhood staff already in his fledgling profession, in addition to this season’s Belgian Tremendous Cup.

Forward of this week’s Champions League group sport between the golf equipment, rumours linking Barcelona with Vermeeren have resurfaced. He was beforehand tipped as a possible long-term successor to Sergio Busquets, who joined Lionel Messi at Inter Miami earlier this yr.

Van Bommel, who performed alongside Xavi at Barcelona greater than 15 years in the past, is reluctant to talk to his former teammate on the danger of giving something away.

Mark van Bommel

Ex-Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel is Antwerp coach / BSR Company/GettyImages

“I will not give him any data, as a result of he would purchase him instantly,” the Dutchman mentioned.

Antwerp have surged again to prominence in latest seasons since returning to Belgium’s prime flight in 2017.

The squad that shall be taking over Barcelona contains a combination of senior execs steeped in expertise and rising younger abilities. 34-year-old former Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld captains the facet, with Vincent Janssen resurrecting his European profession after a stint in Mexico.

Other than Vermeeren, ahead Michel-Ange Balikwisha is 22, on-loan centre-back Soumaila Coulibaly is nineteen, and midfielder Mandela Keita is 21.


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