Premier League: Belgian XI
A team made up of current Belgian internationals currently starring in the Premier League
It's no secret that the Belgian national team are developing a reputation as one of the most talented sides in world football at the moment, and we have the pleasure of watching many of their stars week-in, week-out in the Premier League.
Belgians plying their trade on these shores is by no means a new thing, the Premier League has delivered mix fortunes for the likes of Philippe Albert, Emile Mpenza and Luc Nilis.
The current crop representing Belgium in England are without doubt doing their country proud, and here at GMS we've put together an XI made up of those stars that are thrilling Premier League fans.
Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet - Liverpool
Liverpool keeper Mignolet has a battle on his hands to wrestle the number one spot shirt off the talented Thibaut Courtois for the national team but is the undisputed first choice at Anfield.
So pleased was Brendan Rodgers with the capture of Mignolet, he allowed Liverpool stalwart Pepe Reina to leave the club on a temporary basis after eight seasons as an ever-present between the sticks.
Mignolet immediately repaid Rodgers' faith with a penalty save against Stoke on his debut.
Centre-Back - Vincent Kompany - Manchester City
Kompany has been a rock for Manchester City since arriving at the club for just £6million in the summer of 2008.
Upon his arrival in England Kompany was often used as a holding midfielder but has thrived since being played in his preferred central defensive role and was one of the major factors behind City's victorious Premier League campaign of 2012.
With Kompany captaining both City and Belgium he's the logical choice to lead out our team.
Centre-Back - Jan Vertonghen - Tottenham Hotspur
A £12million signing in the summer of 2012, Vertonghen proved he was worth every penny in his first season in English football. Consistently producing defensive displays of the highest quality, few could argue with his selection in the Premier League Team of the Year.
Vertonghen is equally at home at left-back or in the centre of defence and featured in every single league game for Spurs last season, notching four goals along the way.
Despite Andre Villas-Boas' major spending spree over the summer you can expect Vertonghen to be a key man at White Hart Lane this season.
Centre-Back - Thomas Vermaelen - Arsenal
Completing our back three is Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen. Comfortable on the ball and the owner of a powerful left foot, Vermaelen struggled for form at the back end of last season and found himself out of the Arsenal team.
Despite that his selection in our XI was never in doubt, and alongside Kompany and Vertonghen, we're confident he could be an important part of an unbeatable back three.
Like Vertonghen, Vermaelen is comfortable playing on the left as well as in the centre and learnt his trade at Ajax before a big money move to North London.
Holding midfield - Marouane Fellaini - Manchester United
The most recognisable man in our team, there's more to the big midfielder than just an impressive afro. Fellaini is a versatile member of the team and can be just as effective in a deep-lying role or playing just behind a front man.
Five impressive seasons at Everton saw Manchester United splash out £27.5million to secure his signature on deadline day this summer and, just like David Moyes, we're backing him to make a major impact on our team.
Fellaini hit the back of the net 11 times for the Toffees last season and his constant goal threat can take the burden off of the strikers.
Holding midfield - Mousa Dembele - Tottenham Hotspur
The second Spurs man in our team, Dembele arrived in England with Fulham as an attacker. Three years on, Dembele has developed a reputation as one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League.
Strong in the tackle, calm in possession and the ability to pick a pass before others have even seen it, the former AZ Alkmaar man now only needs to add goals to his game.
Unlike Vertonghen, Dembele may find his place in the Spurs team under threat following the multiple summer arrivals at White Hart Lane, but we're backing him to prove his worth and continue to be a key man for both club and country.
Right midfield - Kevin De Bruyne - Chelsea
De Bruyne is yet to have an impact on the Premier League, but if Jose Mourinho is willing to start him in the opening two league games of the season, including an away game at Old Trafford, who are we to say he's not good enough?
Originally signed by Chelsea in January 2012, De Bruyne was loaned straight back to Genk before wowing the Bundesliga last season while on loan at Werder Bremen. The winger netted 10 goals in 33 league appearances, prompting The Special One to give him a chance this season.
Although unproven in England, we expect the pacey wide-man to provide stern competition for Chelsea's other attacking options.
Left midfield - Kevin Mirallas - Everton
Little was known of Mirallas when he sealed a £6million from Olympiakos to Everton last summer but his debut campaign in England showed a lot of promise.
Mirallas proved himself to be one of the best dribblers in the Premier League last season as he scored a couple of stunning goals, ghosting past defenders with frightening ease before finishing with all the composure of a centre-forward.
It'd be easy to forget about Mirallas when looking at a team so jam-packed of attacking flair but defenders would be ill-advised to leave this man in space.
Central attacking midfield - Eden Hazard - Chelsea
Hazard may be more at home playing from wide but we're going to look to utilise his devastating pace and quick feet from a more central role.
Signing for Chelsea last year, Hazard's transfer was one of the most protracted deals of the summer before he took to Twitter to announce where he'd be playing his football upon his departure from Lille.
You can expect teams to try to double or even tripple up on Hazard when he's on the ball but that won't worry him one bit. Expert dribbling has seen him negate his way out of the tightest of situations since his arrival in the Premier League.
Yet another man with goals in his locker, Hazard netted 14 times in his maiden season in English football.
Striker - Romelu Lukaku - Everton
The powerful striker recently joined Everton on a season-long loan from Chelsea following a similar sting at West Bromwich Albion last year. His spell at the Hawthorns ended with 17 league goals, proving that Lukaku can already be a major player in the Premier League.
Mixing pace, power and a powerful shot, the former Anderlecht man has drawn inevitable comparisons to Chelsea hero Didier Drogba, and if Lukaku can have half the impact on the Premier League that Drogba did we're in for a treat.
The arrival of Samuel Eto'o ultimately forced the youngster to seek a temporary move and Everton fans will be delighted with the capture of one of the best young strikers in world football.
Striker - Christian Benteke - Aston Villa
Take one look at Benteke's formidable frame and it's easy to forget he's still only 22. Many may have expected the 6ft 3ins hitman to need time to adapt to the tempo of the Premier League - but Benteke had other thoughts.
Twenty-eight goals in all competitions last season tell the tale of a man who not only coped with the physicality of English football, but bullied defenders while he was at it.
It came as no surprise when big clubs were linked with a move for Benteke at the end of last season and Villa fans would have been over the moon to see him sign a new deal with the club.
The number one goal threat in this team, Benteke's rapid rise is set to continue as he looks to fire Belgium to their first World Cup since 2002. As one half of our formidable strike force, we're just glad we'd never have to come up against him.
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