Report: Stoke agree deal for 15-year-old Belgian winger Thibaud Verlinden

The 15-year-old winger has agreed a deal with Stoke, ahead of interest from Chelsea and Everton.

As per a report in HLN, Verlinden has agreed a deal to take him to the Britannia Stadium in the summer, where he will become part of Stoke’s Under-18 set-up.

A Belgian youth international, Verlinden has made four appearances for his nation’s Under-16 side, scoring one goal, and is regarded as one of the best attacking prospects in his country.

Able to play on both wings, he is remarkably two footed, and can also play in the number 10 role, just behind the strikers.

His transfer is occurring from Standard Liege, where he has played for much of his youth career. His father is former Belgian goalkeeper Dany Verlinden, who was capped at international level after a career with Lierse and Club Brugge.

It is stated in the report that Stoke beat off competition from Chelsea and Everton for his signature, as Verlinden sees his chances of development as more likely to prosper at the Britannia Stadium.

There is no doubting that Stoke are planning an overhaul of their squad to coincided with a more stylish attempt at football, highlighted by the signing of Bojan last summer.

Verlinden, being a classy winger, looks to be another step on that path, and it is good to see that Mark Hughes is well on the way to revitalising the club’s philosophy, as well as focusing on the Potters’ youth academy.

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