Yesterday we received the surprise news that Chelsea had signed attacking Brazilian Lucas Piazon, today I awoke to the rumors that we had reached an agreement with Belgian club RC Genk for 19 year old Kevin De Bruyne. Nothing from either club has been released yet, and the reports from the Telegraph suggest that we haven't reached a formal agreement with the player yet. The agreed fee appears to be in the region of 3.5 million pounds, which seems a steal compared to the price paid for
Kaka Piazon. Because of that, I'm a little skeptical of just how accurate this report is, but it's worth noting that we've been linked to De Bruyne for several years now.
While we've reportedly just entered into negotiations with the player, the club appears to want to send him to Vitesse on loan while the player seems to prefer an immediate move to England. There are plenty of other clubs with interest in the player, and we managed to nab Piazon from Juve due to their failure to reach an agreement with the player, so this situation is not done yet. Still, if Roman wants him I'd guess we'll reach an agreement. This situation will bear monitoring, but for now let's get a look at the player after the jump (with video).
De Bruyne will turn 20 this June, and like Piazon has played as a striker, wing, and advanced midfield roles. He stands 5'11" tall, and is stronger with his right foot than his left. He's typically been deployed on the left though, and cuts in to shoot with his right. He's been in phenomenal goal scoring form for the national team, scoring 16 goals in his 14 games for the U19 side. He's expected to make his senior club debut this summer, likely pairing with Eden Hazard on the wings around Romelu Lukaku to form a formidable attack. His goal scoring with his club team has been slightly less prolific, but they tend to play him as a left sided or central midfielder in a less attacking role.
Here's a little beauty that got highlighted on ESPN this year, this one alone has me drooling:
De Bruyne has several weaknesses to his game as well. He's not known as a good defender, although much of that seems to be due to his desire to join in on every attack. He's got decent height for a midfielder/wing, but he's not particularly strong in the air despite that. Because of that, De Bruyne is unlikely to slot into a role as a regular striker/center forward. He also tends to drift out of position, but that's somewhat normal for a player under 20 who hasn't had experience outside of Belgium.
Like Piazon yesterday, De Bruyne might not have been the Belgian we expected to be hearing about signing (Lukaku, Hazard). He has a solid skillset though, and his size should allow him to hold up to the rigors of the Premier League fairly well. If the rumored price is right, he'd make another excellent addition to the U21 ranks at Cobham and continue to help our young attacking corps catch up to our phenomenal defensive prospects. Cross your fingers and hope there's some truth to this one, at the rumored price there is virtually no chance that we can make a mistake with him.