Stocky, diminutive, Belgian born and blessed with the footwork of Fred Astaire at his foxtrotting peak, it seemed only a matter of time before Yari Verschaeren was compared to Real Madrid’s 100 million euro man Eden Hazard.
The latest fresh-faced wonderkid to emerge from Anderlecht, a club who gave the world Youri Tielemans, Vincent Kompany and Dennis Praet, Verschaeren shot to fame with a glorious goal against Italy at the U21 European Championships in July. But he has been catching the eye in the homeland for far longer than a few months.
The attacking midfielder scored twice and set up four more goals during a fabulous breakthrough season at the Constant Vanden Stock, emerging as one of the few bright sparks in a miserable season for fallen giants Anderlecht.
And, according to Calciomercato, he has now emerged on the radar of Southampton.
A move to the Premier League appears to be on the cards and if Verschaeren is half the player Eden Hazard became at Chelsea, The Saints will have one hell of a talent on their hands.
"I immediately noticed Yari,” Yannick Bolasie told Voetbal24 in the spring after joining Anderlecht on loan from Everton. “In the first few days. I thought he was a younger brother of Eden Hazard. Then I started calling him Eden.”
Anderlecht president Michael Verschuren agrees.
“He has a lot of potential, he makes me think a little bit of Eden Hazard. He knows how to turn quickly and play very quickly,” the general director told DH Net.
Full-backs up and down the country must have breathed a sigh of relief when Hazard boarded that plane to Madrid. But is his long-term successor set to take his place on English shores?
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