University of Antwerp and Stirr Associates, the agency that represents Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld and Dries Mertens of Napoli, have come up with a report that claims a move to England for young Belgian footballers isn’t advisable without having first team experience.
After the report came out, Het Nieuwsblad spoke to Bienvenu Boyata, the father of Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata.
Bienvenu gives examples of Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United, who struggled initially during their time at Chelsea and eventually left the west London club in search of more opportunities elsewhere.
Boyata Sr was critical about the Blues transfer policy, which sees them sign youngsters and sell them later to raise funds from the sale, without providing more opportunities in the first team.
“It’s all about gaining experience. To get opportunities. And you do not get that fast in England,” he said.
“It’s just very difficult to get there on the first team. Even Lukaku and De Bruyne, who had already gained experience in Belgium, were not used at Chelsea. However, they were sold with profit, and that’s what the English clubs seem to do.
“It is primarily a business. Young players are mainly a number. They are not bought to drop in the team, but to commercialise and make a profit. The cash register must ring.”
Dedryck Boyata moved to Manchester City’s academy in 2009 and after struggling to find his way into the first team even after a few loan spells, he signed for Celtic on a permanent deal in 2015.
The defender is expected to leave Brendan Rodgers’ side this summer, when his Celtic contract comes to an end.