Belgium’s HLN say nobody thought it was possible a week ago, but today Ishak Belfodil was available for Standard Liege to play against Club Brugge.
Belfodil had been on the verge of a move to Everton, with a transfer being expected, rather than simply rumoured. The player’s agent had been at Standard’s winter training camp in Spain, waiting for the message to travel for an Everton medical.
The agent was there for four days, and the message didn’t come. In the end the Everton deal collapsed, with a few factors being blamed and perhaps the real reason still unknown.
Standard manager Aleksandar Jankovic couldn’t speak highly enough of his player and his reaction to the failed Everton transfer.
Quoted by HLN, Jankovic explained: “A magnificent guy. The way he continued to work during that period when there was a lot around him is exemplary. At training I noticed nothing of what was happening around him. However he received during the trip visits from agents, and stories appeared every day in the press. He is certainly an example for young people and has given a boost to the whole team with his behaviour.”
That may not be that, and HLN believe a transfer somewhere is still possible, saying: ‘The withdrawal of Everton certainly does not mean that Belfodil will finish the season at Standard.’
Should Standard miss out on Belgium’s top six, and therefore a play-off place to decide the end of season placements (don’t ask, it’s complicated), then Belfodil, say HLN, will have 2 days to find a new club if he so wishes.
Though HLN don’t mention it, it probably can’t be ruled out that Everton could consider a late revival if they fail to land other targets.
Belfodil started for Standard against Club Brugge. It didn’t help, they lost 3-0.