Manchester United sign Indy Boonen

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Manchester United have signed young Belgian playmaker Indy Boonen on a three-year contract.

The 16-year-old joins compatriots Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj at Old Trafford, according to Belgian newspaper HLN, after putting pen-to-paper on a deal with the Red Devils.

Little is known about the teenager, although reliable Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur claims he is a left-footed playmaker, formerly of Genk. The youngster's father reportedly claims his son's favoured position is at No. 10.

Furthermore, United are understood to be interested in Boonen's younger brother, Seppe, a talented 13-year-old goalkeeper.

However, Manchester United are unable to tie Indy's younger sibling down to a contract because of his age.

Boonen's family will move to England in order to accompany the teenager on his new adventure, although 23-year-old sister Laura will stay in Belgium.

Adnan Januzaj comparisons

Manchester United's acquisition of Boonen may remind supporters of March 2011, when the Red Devils struck a deal to sign Januzaj, who was 16 at the time.

United snapped up Januzaj from Anderlecht - agreeing to pay the Belgian club £297,000, according to the BBC - four years ago. He impressed in the Red Devils' youth ranks before establishing himself in the Premier League giants' first-team last season.

Januzaj, now 20, is widely considered one of the most talented young footballers on the planet - and United will be hoping Boonen can follow in his compatriot's footsteps.

Belgium - Hotbed of talent

Belgium has become a hotbed of talent over the past 10 years, with a host of gifted players coming to England and lighting up the Premier League at top clubs.

Manchester City's influential captain Vincent Kompany, Chelsea's world-class winger Eden Hazard and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku are just three Belgians who have taken England's top flight by storm in recent years.

Januzaj was a revelation at Old Trafford last season, while former Everton star Fellaini has become an increasingly important member of the Red Devils' squad under Louis van Gaal this term.

Could we see Boonen in pre-season?

If Boonen proves to be as talented as the former, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Manchester United fans could catch their first glimpse of the Belgian starlet playing in the club's first team during pre-season.

The former Genk attacking midfielder will almost certainly join up with Manchester United's Under-18 side - as Januzaj did - but will have the chance to move up the ranks over the coming months and years.

Will Boonen prove to be the next big Belgian star - or have Manchester United signed a dud? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

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