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Premier League Belgians in-demand this summer

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is in-demand this summer

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is in-demand this summer

Last summer the Premier League saw an influx of Belgium internationals.

The likes of Eden Hazard and Christian Benteke joined the already big ranks of Belgium stars plying their trade in the English top flight. Despite recent of recent transfer betting odds on sites like betting.betfair that suggest that Benteke will be moving to La Liga with Atletico Madrid, he will most likely remain a Premier League player for next season too.

Up-and-coming

Belgium is currently experiencing resurgence in their national team.

The Rode Duivels (Red Devils) look well placed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil and have one of the most highly-rated squads in European football.

The current generation of players are the regarded as one of the best that Belgium has ever produced, a golden generation if you like.

A number of those stars made a big impact on the Premier League last season and are in-demand this summer. Here is just a few of those stars:

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

Fellaini was one of the stars of last season in the Premier League. The big Belgium’s strength and power has earned him legions of fans. Then Everton boss David Moyes decided to employ Fellaini as a second striker last season, after the former-Standard Liege star previously played as an anchor or defensive midfielder.

The move turned out to be a masterstroke. Fellaini became a focal point of the Everton attack, played a big part in Everton finishing sixth in the Premier League table, and scored 11 league goals.

Fellaini’s displays attracted the interest of eventual champions Manchester United in January. With former-boss Moyes now at Old Trafford, a move to the Champions looked like the obvious one.

However, according to most bookmakers Arsenal are the surprise favourites to sign the talented Belgium midfielder.

Chelsea are also believed to be interested in signing the big haired one. Fellaini has a minimum fee release clause of £24million in his contract, so the Toffees will be powerless to reject offers, if as expected they come in this summer.

New Everton boss Roberto Martinez and chairman Bill Kenwright have stated they want to keep Fellaini at Goodison, but soon the decision may not be theirs. Kenwright has vowed to give Martinez all the money from the sale to strengthen his squad if Fellaini does leave the Toffees.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

The young striker joined Villa from Genk for £7million last summer and fast became a big crowd favourite in a struggling Villans team. Big and strong, Benteke went on to fire home 19 top-flight goals in a Villa team that only just avoided relegation.

The 22-year-old was also linked with a January move, but stayed at Villa Park to aide his clubs fight against relegation. His goals helped secure Villa their Premier League status for another season.

However, the vultures are now circling Villa for their star striker. Arsenal, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid are all reported to be interested in signing the striker. Villa boss Paul Lambert would be loathed to sell the youngster and has warned that a move away would be a gamble for the striker.

Unfortunately, for the Midlanders a bid of £15-20million may persuade them to sell and I am sure that Benteke would jump at the chance of playing in European competition next season.

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)

Mignolet also played a hand in his club beating the drop, sometimes in a literal sense! For Mignolet this season was very much a breakthrough one. The 24-year-old keeper was superb at times for the Black Cats last season.

His talents have not gone unnoticed by teams higher up the food chain and he is attracting the interest of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. Mignolet’s agent has told the media that he will not be signing a new contract at the Stadium of Light and may soon be on the move.

Others

Other Belgium stars such as Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois will also likely be moving away from Premier League Chelsea this summer. De Bruyne looks likely to make a permanent move to the Bundesliga, where he spent the majority of this season on-loan at Werder Bremen.

Courtois looks likely to spend next season on-loan at Atletico Madrid for the third consecutive season, where he will gain valuable experience, including playing in the Champions League next season.

World Cup

The Red Devils are well-placed in the qualifying for next year’s World Cup. All the members of the Belgium squad will be looking to put themselves in the best possible position to be in that squad for Brazil 2014. A high-profile move could be just what they need to make the plane to Rio this time next year.

Which Belgium international is the most likely to move this summer?

Fri 7 June, 2013
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