With Thorgan Hazard, the Jupiler Pro League has once again seen multiple returns of the Red Devil during the recent Mercato. Axel Witsel was also linked with a return to action in Belgium. Ultimately, it didn’t happen, but that could change in the long run.
After several strong seasons at Borussia Dortmund, Witsel began looking for a new challenge as a player without transfers in the summer of 2022. Thus, the midfielder signed a contract with Atletico Madrid. And in the Spanish capital, the Standard youth product has also grown into a fixture.
Coach Diego Simeone usually plays him as a defender in a three-man defence, but he has also done well in this role. Due to injury, Witsel missed the first matches of the new season. However, before the international break, he returned to the starting lineup.
However, the former Red Devil has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the Rojiblancos during the past transfer window. For example, there was interest from Saudi Arabia. But no breakthrough was achieved. In addition, it recently became known that Standard was going to try to bring it back.
Witsel is therefore Sclessin’s son. He completed a large part of his youth training at Liège FC, achieved his breakthrough as a professional footballer and was beloved by the ardent fans. Returning to the Roches does not seem like an inconsequential option.
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However, in the end, no such return materialised. But the opposite RTBF CEO Pierre Lochte isn’t ruling anything out in the long term. “We know what Axel means to Standard. The management also keeps in touch with him. Everyone dreams about it, but for now he’s still playing at the highest European level. If one day it’s possible, we’ll try. But it’s not right away,” Locht says. “In any case, Witsel’s contract with Atletico will expire after this season. This may be the right time to strike.”
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