June 3, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen is clear after first training with Orange: “I’m not here on a school trip”

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman and Bart Verbruggen.© Belgium

The Dutch national team’s training had only just begun when Bart Verbruggen fired the ball wide after a graceful slide. Goalkeeping coach Patrick Lodewix applauds, but the 20-year-old Anderlecht goalkeeper doesn’t move a muscle. “I’m not here on a school trip,” he said a little later at the edge of the field.

The telegraph

It is not clear that Verbruggen will be allowed to make his debut for the Dutch national team next week during the first international matches in the European Championship qualifiers against France and Gibraltar.

“The national coach told me I should take a good look around,” he says. “But I also want to show myself.” With Jasper Cillessen, Mark Felix and Verbruggen, Koeman called up three goalkeepers who were not selected for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year. “But that also has to do with injuries,” explains Verbruggen, the absence of Anders Neubert and Justin Bellew. “Otherwise I would be with the Dutch kids by now.”

Great future

Verbruggen had yet to play an official match for NAC three years ago when he was sold to Anderlecht for €300,000, meeting old acquaintances with goalkeeper coach Jelle ten Roelar. He started as the club’s third goalkeeper from Brussels, behind Hendrik van Krombrueg and Timon Willenreuther, who is now under contract with Feyenoord. But under new head coach Brian Rimmer he was the first choice for three months.

Anderlecht’s captain, Jan Vertonghen, predicts a great future for Verbruggen. “He has the potential to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” believes the experienced Belgian.

© BELGA

According to many English media outlets, Manchester United and Liverpool want to sign the talented goalkeeper next summer. “I don’t read much, but sometimes you get a message forward,” Verbruggen replies. “It’s nice when things go well. And it’s also nice when we play against Arizona with Anderlecht in the Conference League. Then I also play an official duel in Holland.

With Verbruggen, Orange may have the wanted killer at home. The goalkeeper stopped no fewer than three Ludogorets penalties last month.

“I don’t know if it’s my specialty or not. But I also stopped one during a cup match against Lierse,” says Verbruggen, who has the letter C on the goalkeeper’s gloves. C is the first letter of the first name of his father, Quinn, who died two years ago. “He was my biggest supporter. Luckily he saw me leave for Anderlecht. Of course he would have liked to try it. But because of that letter on my glove, he’s always there a little bit.”

© Belgium

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