According to Le Soir Finding a replacement for Jan Vertonghen is the main priority for Jesper Fredberg and new scout Jasper Wouters in the coming winter mercato.
In the previous summer transfer period, several central defenders were already thoroughly analyzed by Anderlecht, including some old acquaintances from Fredberg, Brian Riemer and the Belgian league, and Sporting may resume one or more of these files in January.
Back-up or replacement Vertonghen: The main priority for Fredberg
Last weekend, Jan Vertonghen received a kick to his bad left ankle during the match against Cercle Brugge, and a serious injury was briefly feared. “I hope nothing is broken,” the Red Devil said after the match.
At the end of the previous season, Vertonghen also suffered from problems with the same ankle, making this a sensitive spot for him. Vertonghen has already undergone a scan, which shows that his ankle was not hit too badly.
Fortunately, his injury is less serious than initially feared, but he is uncertain for the upcoming top match against AA Gent. Trainer Brian Riemer is currently considering various options to arrange his central defense for the match against AA Gent.
There are some players who can play alongside Zeno Debast, such as Ludwig Augustinsson, Killian Sardella and even Amadou Diawara, but these are not ideal solutions. In addition, the young talents Amando Lapage and Lucas Lissens from the RSCA Futures youth can also be considered.
However, Vertonghen’s injury highlights the need for Jesper Fredberg to find a reliable replacement or backup for the second half of the season in January.
Moreover, Vertonghen is already 36 years old, his contract is expiring, and he has not yet decided on his future at the club, so Fredberg is best prepared to attract an extra central defender in the transfer market.
According to Le Soir In fact, finding a replacement for Vertonghen is the main priority for Fredberg and new scout Jasper Wouters in the coming winter mercato.
In the previous summer transfer period, several central defenders were already thoroughly analyzed by Anderlecht, and Sporting may resume one or more of these files in January.
MB Sörensen (Midtjylland): dreaming of a new step higher
According to La Dernière Heure and The newspapaer Last summer, Anderlecht had its eye on Mads Bech Sörensen, then a defender at Brentford FC. Sörensen is certainly no stranger to both Jesper Fredberg and Brian Riemer.
The coach had previously worked with Sörensen at Brentford, while Jesper Fredberg is also well acquainted with his compatriot’s qualities. Sörensen’s intrinsic qualities fit well with Riemer’s philosophy, partly thanks to his profile as a left-footed central defender who can take care of both short and long passes.
However, his most striking quality lies in a very specific aspect of the game: Sörensen is able to throw throw-ins of more than 40 meters. The Danish defender has even built a reputation as a specialist in this area.
“It is completely extreme,” said throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark TheTelegraph during an interview in 2020. “It’s great to work with a guy like him. He has the longest throw-in I’ve ever seen among the 5,000 or so players I’ve coached. If he is not the farthest thrower in world football, then he is certainly one of the very best.”
Sörensen was sidelined at Brentford for quite some time and he left for FC Midtjylland last summer, where he signed a contract until 2027. At the age of 24, he will undoubtedly aspire to a move to a higher-ranked league, and then Anderlecht can remain an interesting option for him.
N. Burgy (Viborg FF): waiting for a top transfer
Jesper Fredberg has confidence in the club’s scouting apparatus, which is led by head scout Dries Belaen, but he also clearly explores his own network.
According to La Dernière Heure and It Newspaper For example, last summer there were discussions with defender Nicolas Bürgy, who plays for Viborg FF, Fredberg’s former club.
He brought Bürgy to Viborg during the 2022 winter mercato, and his transfer proved to be a great success. Fredberg is therefore well aware of what Bürgy has to offer, as the 28-year-old defender was one of the best defenders in the Superligaen last season.
According to Tipsbladet Bürgy’s strong performance was one of the main reasons why Anderlecht held talks with Viborg last summer about a possible transfer of the Swiss defender.
Published in June Tipsbladet a list of the five best central defenders in the Superligaen, with Bürgy ranked fourth. The fact that Bürgy was recognized as a gem of the club can therefore be seen as a compliment for Fredberg.
Although Bürgy rarely appears in the headlines, his placement in the top five best central defenders in the Superligaen confirms his great merits and qualities. Today, the Swiss defender is still under contract with Viborg until June 2025.
J. Panzo (Cardiff City): loaned out without success
The 23-year-old Englishman’s name will probably ring a bell, as he played for Cercle Brugge on loan from AS Monaco in the 2019/20 season.
At that time, Panzo was a regular in the left back position at the Bruges club, but in the further course of his career he mainly played as a central defender.
His sporting qualities certainly fit well with the vision of Jesper Fredberg and Brian Riemer. Panzo is known for his ability to step up with the ball at his feet and is comfortable in possession, allowing him to hold his own even in midfield.
Some are even speculating that his future may lie in a number six role. However, last season Panzo fell down the pecking order with Nottingham Forest coach Steve Cooper, and the club showed understanding for his desire to get more playing time elsewhere.
There was interest from England, with clubs such as Coventry City, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City and Cardiff City, and he eventually went on loan to the latter club.
However, Panzo rarely plays at Cardiff, which may mean that a move to Anderlecht could still be a possibility.
I. Touré (FC Lorient): mission impossible for Anderlecht
The Ivorian Frenchman is considered a promising talent in French football. Two years ago, he made his breakthrough at the age of 17 with Le Havre AC in Ligue 2.
Major clubs such as Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Stade Rennes and Lille OSC showed interest in him, and for a long time it looked like Manchester City would secure his signature.
Ultimately, however, it was Olympique de Marseille who won the battle for IsaacTouré, but due to the fierce competition for a place in central defense and his position as fourth choice, Touré only had limited playing opportunities.
Therefore, Marseille were willing to sell their promising talent, which attracted the interest of several clubs, including Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Burnley FC, Lorient and Clermont. Touré has a strikingly atypical profile as a footballer.
With his height of 2.06 meters and almost 100 kilograms, he is an imposing, strong and powerful defender. The phenomenon Touré likes to engage in physical duels and have contact with opponents, where his sharp ability to anticipate is also noticeable.
It is remarkable that in addition to his physical strength, Touré also possesses excellent footballing qualities, tactical intelligence, speed, progressive passing, initiative on the ball and great technical skills.