What did you do when you were 18 years old? For Romeo Lafia, the solution is to debut in the Premier League. The Belgian youth received unanimous praise for his performance against Tottenham. Wesley Sonic was under Romeo Lavia as the national coach for the U-19 Championship and didn’t praise him on the De Tribune podcast.
Wesley Sonek usually does not like to talk openly about the young Belgian talent. As the U19 national team coach, he doesn’t want to single out individuals, but after Romeo Lafia’s performance at Tottenham Hotspur, Sonk can’t ignore him either.
“I already knew Romeo had tremendous qualities in football. I didn’t know he could do that also at the level of the Premier League. What he showed against Tottenham was really great.”
“Players like Martin Vandevoordt, Luca Owen, Zino Dibast, Romeo Lafia, these are internationally outstanding players in their age group.”
Of all the players mentioned by Sonk, Lavia is the youngest.
Let’s just say that players like Lafia may have already been spotted by the national coach.
Romeo Lavia played a six in the Southampton midfield last weekend. There he recovered a lot of balls with his speed and steady on his feet, but there was more. Lafia has always been fast acting, looking for vertical solutions, and showing his artistic footing.
“He has a very interesting profile for his position as a defensive midfielder,” confirms Wesley Sonk. Lafia is not the tallest (1.80 m), but Claude Makelele was not, for example, a football player whom Lafia sometimes remembered.
The road to a great career in international football is not only in full swing. The head should come too. Looks like Lavia already knows what he wants.
When he was 16, he applied for a professional contract with Anderlecht and opted for an English adventure with Manchester City. Two years later, he was confident enough to spend more minutes playing in the Premier League at a lesser-known club.
“Romeo is a very quiet boy,” says Wesley Sonic. “Obviously he decided himself – and perhaps along with his entourage – that it would be best for him to leave City to play more elsewhere. This must have been discussed with City. There is a buy-back clause that I have read.”
The future of the Red Devils?
Romeo Lavia was born on January 6, 2004. For comparison: he is thus younger than Marco Cana or Aster Franks (both born in 2002), two players with almost the same profile.
As Kana fights for a place at Anderlecht and the Franks spent the entire match against Werder Bremen off the bench at Wolfsburg last weekend, Lafia appears to have started in the Premier League.
Is Lafia is the future of the Red Devils? “Of course that’s what I and my crew mean,” Sonic laughs. “These are actually questions for my boss, Roberto Martinez.”
“But let’s say boys like Lafia might already be discovered. And if the national coach needs to know something, he calls us sometimes.”
Listen to the full episode of De Tribune
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