Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea target scores first goal for new club in his second start

Everton, Tottenham and Fulham were also interested in Junior Malanda - but VfL Wolfsburg won the race.

This summer saw plenty of Premier League teams linked with a switch for Zulte-Waregem midfielder Bernard ‘Junior’ Malanda.

One of the stars of a team that went to the brink of a shock Belgian League title glory last season, the teenager was said to be keen on a move away last summer - and he was prepared to go to extreme means to get his own way.

Utilising a little known Belgian youth labour law, the then 18-year-old managed to break his contract with the club - essentially making him a free agent.

The player went AWOL as the club tried to convince him to stay and an exit became more and more likely.

At that point Fulham were quickly made the favourites for his coveted signature - seemingly taking over from Everton and Arsenal in the running for the player, while Chelsea and Tottenham were also keen.

But any hope of seeing him playing Premier League died when VfL Wolfsburg announced his signing in August.

He returned to Zulte on loan until the end of last season - and the first six months of this season. Since then he has been slowly breaking into the VfL Wolfsburg first-team - and last night made his second start for the club in succession.

And he has had an immediate impact.

He bagged the opening goal in the 3-1 win against Werder Bremen - the 19-year-old obviously ecstatic at opening his account for the club.

And now time will tell if Premier League clubs missed out on the talented Belgian powerhouse…

Werder Bremen 0-1 Wolfsburg - Goal Malanda - 25... by feed8

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