Anderlecht’s Dennis Praet is seen as one of the most promising young players in all of Europe. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder jumped onto the scene three years ago during the 2011 AEGON Future Cup in Amsterdam. The 2011 version of the annual under-17 youth competition organized by AFC Ajax featured other clubs such as Bayern Munich, Fluminense, Celtic, D.C. United, and China’s U-17 club.
Praet not only played well in the 2011 tournament for Anderlecht, he led his team to the title over Ajax and was awarded as the competition’s best overall player.
Success for the youngster would not stop following the triumphant 2011 AEGON Future Cup. Since his introduction to the senior Anderlecht squad in the 2011-12 season, the Belgian club has won three consecutive league titles and three straight Belgian Super Cup titles.
With three highly successful seasons with Anderlecht under his belt, a move to a bigger club could be in store for the 20-year-old. Speaking on the issue of a move for Praet, his agent, Jacques Lichtenstein, recently told the Belgian press that his client may not have anything else to contribute to the Anderlecht side.
Lichtenstein stated, “What more can (Praet) gain by spending one more campaign at Anderlecht after contributing to three back-to-back titles? But I will never push a player in the direction of a transfer. You make a career of twenty years with the vision for the long term.”
The agent also gave a suggestion of teams that could be a destination for Praet. He said, “Dennis will not go just anywhere. Clubs like Valencia, Liverpool, Arsenal or Atletico Madrid are eligible, not Dinamo Kiev. He is not so far from the level of a club like Arsenal, where they can give him a year adjustment period.”
Quick, agile, and creative, Praet possesses all of the right attributes to be a solid attacking midfielder. While he has only scored one goal in 17 total matches this season, the youngster has recorded six assists (including five in league play). Praet’s fine form this campaign has resulted in a senior call-up to the Belgium national team.
After spending the last five years in the Belgium national team’s youth ranks, Praet made his full senior debut on November 12th against Iceland. The 20-year-old was brought on as a 76th minute substitute for star striker Christian Benteke in the Belgian victory.
With Praet likely to exit the Belgian Jupiler League at some point in the near future, there will most likely be plenty of top-level teams interested in the Belgium international. Arsenal, Liverpool, and Atletico Madrid are all viable options, as the three teams do not mind giving youngsters a considerable amount of playing time.