With no English interests left in either of this season’s UEFA competitions, the midweek European fixtures offer an opportunity to see several potential future Premier League targets in action.
The Europa League is no exception and while Wolfsburg’s home encounter with Napoli and Sevilla’s face-off against Zenit St Petersburg represent Thursday night’s big glamour ties, we’ve decided to focus elsewhere.
Few expected Club Brugge to have made it this far, but with the Belgian outfit finishing top of the table in their homeland and progressing past a tricky Besiktas side in the last round, it’s high time we sat up and took notice.
Due to meet fellow outsiders Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, the game offers one side a fantastic opportunity to reach this year’s final.
More importantly, there are five Brugge players who have been linked with Premier League moves in the past and could well be ones to watch in the future.
Two-time Belgium Pro League Goalkeeper of the year, Ryan has been a star performer for Brugge this season having also impressed between the sticks for Australia, helping the Socceroos win the 2015 Asia Cup. Previously on trial at Tottenham, Liverpool are the latest to be linked with a bid.
Last summer, the 25-year-old emerged as a target for Sunderland, after impressing for World Cup surprise package Costa Rica with a series of solid displays that also included a goal against Uruguay. He remained at Brugge though and has continued to shine in Belgium with a move surely beckoning.
A product of the Ajax youth setup, Denswil’s decision to stall on contract negotiations with the Amsterdam club soon saw Manchester United linked to the 21-year-old and while he ultimately ended up in Belgium, a series of fine displays could see the big clubs return to the defender.
One of Brugge’s star performers in the final third, this former Barcelona B team talent was once on Arsenal’s radar following some excellent showings for the Catalan’s second-string outfit. A first-team regular at Brugge, his eye for a pass and precise shooting could make him a Premier League target.
Tom de Sutter
Prior to his move to Brugge, De Sutter’s impressive form for previous club Anderlecht had seen the Belgian target man marked as one with Premier League potential. Everton were among those thought to be keeping tabs on the forward, who could yet earn a move to the English top-flight.
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