Manchester United have signed 16-year-old Belgian midfielder Indy Boonen but understandably not known is much about him.
With that in mind, we had a chat with Het Laatste Nieuws’ Kristof Terreur, who originally reported the news earlier this morning, to find out a bit more about Boonen and what to expect.
Hi Kristof. Thanks for talking to us today. Can you quickly introduce yourself to the readers please?
“Since 2012 I have been the Premier League correspondent for Belgium’s leading newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. I’m responsible for reports and news gathering for 16 Belgian players in the Premier League. I moved to London and I watch about 100 games a year live, mainly those with Belgian internationals involved.”
The news has broken that Manchester United have signed 16-year-old Indy Boonen. What can you tell us about him?
“He’s known as a small, skillful attacking midfielder with a good left foot but as you may all know positions aren’t fixed at that age. He got some invitations for games with the Belgian U16s. Indy is the son of Jacky Boonen, a former Belgian professional player, but he claims his son is more talented than him. He played for Lierse, Beveren Lokeren, Dundee and a few other teams. He also has a talented brother, Seppe. He’s a goalkeeper.
What can you tell us about his playing style? What should followers of Man United’s U18s expect when watching him play?
I haven’t seen him play but they tell me he’s like all those small skilful guys. I read somewhere he’s the new Januzaj but let’s not exaggerate. Not every young Belgian is the new Hazard or the new Janzuaj.
What has he done up until now to earn himself this move to Man United?
He was one of the best players in Genk U14s and U15s, a club where Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne came through the youth ranks. He left this summer after a dispute, not that Genk thought he was not good enough. He went on trial at United for the first time in August and then again in November. United were immediately convinced. He also went on trial at a few other teams, but United really pushed for a move.
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) February 19, 2015
Will his family be moving with him to Manchester?
They will move to Manchester in the summer. Indy first wants to finish his fourth year in school in Belgium. He’s already training at Carrington: he’s two weeks in Manchester, one week in Belgium for his school. In the summer he will permanently settle at Manchester. His young brother Seppe (13) will join the family. He will probably also join Man United, but he can’t sign a contract yet.
He left Genk in the summer. What was the reason behind that?
From what I’m told Genk wanted to keep Indy, but they had some reservations about Seppe, who isn’t the tallest for his age – Genk have a policy of wanting tall goalkeepers. Dad Jacky wanted both boys at the same club, so that’s why they decided to leave Genk. Also Ajax were chasing Indy.
We want to say thanks to Kristof for answering a few questions for The Peoples Person. You can follow him on Twitter here.