KV Oostende midfielder Indy Boonen has revealed how arriving from Manchester United has made things difficult for him at the club.
Boonen arrived at Oostende on a free transfer from Manchester United’s U23 side in 2018 but has only managed 49 appearances and 1923 minutes of football for the club so far.
The youngster was a regular in his first season, racking up 28 appearances in all competitions, although starting just six games in the league.
That continued last season as he managed just 13 minutes and 331 minutes of football for the Belgian club, starting just twice in the league to boot.
His experience in Belgium has been completely different from the one he experienced with Manchester United’s youth side, with Boonen a regular for the U18s and Under 23’s, as well as featuring for the U19’s in Europe.
And he admits things haven’t gone to plan, part of which he blames on his upbringing at Manchester United.
“My switch has not been successful so far, no. But it has not been easy,” Voetbalkrant report him saying.
“In previous years, there was a lot of negativity here, and we had to fight against relegation. That didn’t really benefit my integration.
“An example: at United, I was an attacker who just had to stay at the front when the ball was lost. Defend? Didn’t have to at all. That is sometimes different here.
“But there is no other way at the highest level in Belgium. You can only afford something like this with the absolute European top teams.
“I smile a lot again, and I feel happy. I have also become much calmer than before. Now I meet less with friends and take more rest periods after training.
“And I put less pressure on myself. I used to be busy a lot. I came from Manchester United, so I had to show something.”