Chelsea and Tottenham stars among many to pay tribute to Junior Malanda on Twitter

Wolfsburg

The Wolfsburg and Belgium under-21 midfielder passed away in a road traffic accident, he was 20-years-old.

The football world is in mourning this weekend after the tragic death of Belgian midfielder Junior Malanda.

It is reported by German paper Bild that Malanda was a passenger in a car that came off the road amid bad weather on the way to meet team-mates, who were due to fly out to South Africa for a training camp this Sunday.

The combative defensive midfielder, who was once linked with the likes of Arsenal and Fulham, featured against Everton in the Europa League this season and was considered one of the best young talents in a long list of Belgian players set to take the world by storm in the next ten years.

Malanda, just 20, joined Wolfsburg from Zulte Waregem in 2013 and had previously been on the books at both Lille and Anderlecht.

Of course their has been an overwhelming outpouring of grief, especially from footballers connected to Belgium and Germany.

World Cup winners such as Arsenal's on-loan forward Lukas Podolski and Mario Gotze paid tribute to the player as did FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Several members of the Belgian national team, including Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele paid their respects on social media along with Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, midfielder Axel Witsel and Dries Mertens.

Former Arsenal player Nicklas Bendtner and ex-Chelsea starlet Kevin De Bruyne also paid tribute to the player, who they were team-mates of his at the Volswagen Arena.

Thorgan Hazard however seemed severely affected by the news. The Chelsea youngster, on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, played at Zulte Waregem with Malanda and came through the Belgian youth ranks with him. The pair were close friends and he was one of many, far too many to mention, to pay tribute to Malanda on Twitter after he was taking away far too soon...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch