Manchester United are reported to have signed promising Belgian teenager Indy Boonen on a three-year deal.
So, who is Boonen? And could be be Manchester United's answer to teen sensation Martin Odegaard?
Boonen has been on the radar of Manchester United scouts for a couple of years having played in a friendly match against the club for Genk back in April of 2013. Now aged 16, United have made their move.
Boonen spent last month in Carrington, United's well-known training complex, trying to impress Red Devils' coaches, and he did just that. HLN report a contract was offered once the trial period had been deemed a success.
Boonen admitted signing for Manchester United was "a dream comes true" for him. Because of his love for the Premier League's most successful club, the youngster reportedly refused many good offers, notably from Arsenal, Manchester City, Feyenoord and Wolfsburg.
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According to Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur, Indy was born with football in blood. His father, Jacky Boonen, was also a professional footballer. Jacky, a talented left-footed midfielder, played for Lierse, Beveren and Lokeren in the 1990s. He also played for Scottish side Dundee in 1998-99.
Talking about his son, Jacky admitted Indy is "a much bigger talent" than himself. While Jacky failed to represent the national team, Indy has long been dubbed the next big thing for Belgium's football after countless impressive performances during his seven years in Genk youth system.
With Indy, left-footed, described as a traditional number 10 by Terreur, a comparison between he and Martin Odegaard, the Norwegian wonderkid who has joined Real Madrid recently, seems to make sense. Both are only 16, and both have been marked out as superstars of the future.
Manchester United fans, however, should not let themselves get carried away. While Odegaard has already made his debut in Real Madrid's B team, and was even registered for Champions League, Boonen will have to wait, maybe for years, until he is to be introduced to first-team football.
United have reportedly decided that Boonen will only join their youth set-up officially in the summer. From now until that moment, he will have to follow a special transition plan which will see him spending two weeks in Manchester, then one week in Brussels, and then two weeks in Manchester again.
It will take some time, of course, for Boonen to become the player United and himself hope he could become. Will the wait be worth it? Only time can tell...
How excited are you by the signing of Indy Boonen?
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