Jupiler Pro League – Top Ten Newcomers

By | August 26, 2013

Club Brugge's Timmy Simons leading from the front at a national team training session. (Copyright John Chapman)

Club Brugge’s Timmy Simons leading from the front at a natioanl team training session. (Copyright John Chapman)

The ‘Top Ten Newcomers’ to the Jupiler Pro League include some youngsters with big reputations, a few returnees and a couple of relatively unknown quantities. Three of the 10 are from Anderlecht and there are two each from Standard Liege and Club Brugge.

Fabien Camus (28, Racing Genk)
The Franco-Tunisian midfielder was a member of the Genk squad that won the Belgian championship in 2010-11. He then spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Troyes but returned to Genk in the summer when the French team was relegated. Camus has started the season well and has even been preferred in midfield to French midfielder Julien Gorius. He’s recently been given an extended contract.

Igor de Camargo (30, Standard Liege)
The Belgo-Brazilian striker had a spell in the Bundesliga, with Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim, without ever being totally convincing. De Camargo has now returned to Standard, where he played a part in the club’s two championship wins, as he still harbours hopes of making the Belgian squad if World Cup qualification is achieved. He’s being well paid at Sclessin and he’ll offer something different to the young duo of Michy Batshuayi and Imoh Ezekiel. De Camargo will probably be useful for Standard but he’s unlikely to make it into Wilmots’ plans as he’s really a Leekens man.

Yassine El Ghanassy (23, Gent)
A player who showed tremendous potential a few years ago – once being linked to Manchester City – El Ghanassy got a loan move to the Premier League and by his own admission, squandered the opportunity on cars, a big villa and life in the fast lane. His spell with West Bromwich Albion was a total disaster and he had to go on loan to Heerenveen before partly rescuing his reputation under the tutelage of Marco Van Basten. He’s now back at Gent and hopefully El Ghanassy is going to show that he’s learnt a lot from his past mistakes.

Luka Milivojevic (22, Anderlecht)
Although in his early twenties, Milivojevic was a key player in Red Star Belgrade’s midfield for a couple of seasons. He has joined Anderlecht as a replacement for Lucas Biglia but it’s looking as if he will need a few matches to settle in the Jupiler Pro League. Milivojevic has played for the Serb national side and he’s got the talent to do well, if he fights of the competition from younger players.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (18, Anderlecht)
Anderlecht have signed the Serb striker but he won’t join the club until the end of August as he will stay with Partizan Belgrade until the Champions League qualifiers have been completed. He was a key player with the Serb side that won the European U19 championships and made his debut with the Serb national team against Belgium in a World Cup qualifier. If he lives up to his billing, Mitrovic will be worth the 5 million that Anderlecht paid – a club record purchase.

Matt Ryan (21, Club Brugge)
The young Australian joined Club Brugge in the summer after impressing with Central Coast Mariners. The tall keeper had 12 clean sheets in his debut season with that side. Ryan has played for Australian national side and has started the season with Club Brugge as – somewhat surprisingly – the side’s number 1 keeper; he’s earned good reviews.

Ivan Santini (24, Kortrijk)
The Croat U19 international had a loan spell with Bundesliga outfit Freiburg, from his then club Zadar (Croatia) but did not do enough to get a permanent move. Santini then joined Kortrijk in the summer and has proved an instant success with five goals in five matches. Good in the air, the centre forward could be one of the surprises of this season’s Jupiler Pro League.

Timmy Simons (36, Club Brugge)
Simons has returned to Club Brugge, the club where he made his name internationally after arriving in the first division with the Lommel at the ripe old age of 22. Simons eventually became captain of Club Brugge and won the Golden Shoe in 2002. He’s been extremely popular with fans wherever he’s played – Brugge, PSV and Nuremburg – as he always gives 100% and is hardly ever injured. He can bring much-needed experience and leadership to a team that’s ambitious but lacks consistency. Simons is a future manager of Club Brugge and of the national team.

Yohann Thuram (24, Standard Liege)
Thuram was highly rated as the keeper for French club Troyes but looked for a new club when they were relegated. After long and complex discussions, Thuram – the cousin of Lilian Thuram – joined Standard Liege but has so far failed to dislodge Eiji Kawishima. However, Thuram is highly-rated and has time on his side.

Federico Vico (19, Anderlecht)
Fede Vido is a Spanish midfield player who made his name with second division club Cordoba. A creative player who can also play behind a main striker, Vico joined Anderlecht despite interest from several other clubs, including Benfica. He is an established U20 international and the 1.5 million euro fee is the most ever paid by Anderlecht for a teenager. It is also the highest amount received by Cordoba. .

2 thoughts on “Jupiler Pro League – Top Ten Newcomers

  1. Peter Delagaye

    Dear John, you forgot Anderlechts new signing Acheampong. Best left back in ages at RSCA!

  2. Belgofoot Post author

    Hi Peter,

    I included him in my Top Ten Youngsters to follow (teenagers) – see this blog. I see him more of a left wing.




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