Michael Verschueren had a very busy January window, with plenty of ups and downs.
It was his first transfer market as Anderlecht’s general manager and the pressure was on. Speaking to Het Belang van Limburg at the weekend, he revealed some of the biggest moments, and explains he told his kids they wouldn’t be seeing much of him during January.
Yannick Bolasie was a big piece of business for the Belgian club, in a deal which was done on deadline day. At the time, the reporting of it was very calm in Belgium, with one article even saying Anderlecht’s chiefs had gone out for a late lunch having tied up the agreement with Everton, but it nearly went very wrong.
Good contacts with Marcel Brands helped smooth the negotiations, and yet the details weren’t inputted until late on Thursday 31st. Verschueren explains someone at the Goodison Park end of the deal made a mistake, and it almost killed the transfer.
“We decided to go for a flank attacker: Yannick Bolasie. Frank Arnesen knows Marcel Brands, the sports director of Everton, from PSV. Romelu Lukaku also convinced his former team mate to choose us. At 15 o’clock we had a deal. Unfortunately, Yannick missed his plane due to a traffic jam. We booked the flights, but he didn’t get in until 21:30.
“Fortunately, we had already tested him medically in England, I never want to experience this again. The contract had to be read and then the clubs had to enter the transfer in the FIFA program. Everton did something wrong, however, and one minute before midnight the light was still red. Everyone was shaking. Crazy. Only 43 seconds before the market closed: green light. One minute later and we were empty-handed.”