De Gea’s successor? All you need to know about Man Utd target Bart Verbruggen

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen and we have gathered everything you need to know about the shot-stopper.

Despite Erik ten Hag publicly backing David De Gea, it’s no secret that United are in the market for another goalkeeper. Having been linked with plenty of names already, Verbruggen is the latest player to be linked with the club.

We’ve looked deeper into Verbruggen and his career so far and have everything you need to know about United’s latest transfer target.

Who is he?

Verbruggen is a 20-year-old Dutch goalkeeper who currently plays for Anderlecht in Belgium. He began his career with Dutch club NAC Breda and was snapped up by Anderlecht in 2020.

The goalkeeper made his professional debut in May 2021 in a 2-2 draw with Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League. While at Anderlecht, he has also spent time with the development side RSCA Futures.

He has featured for the Netherlands at youth level and earlier this year he received his first-ever call-up to the senior squad. He was on the bench for the Netherlands’ Euro qualifiers against France and Gibraltar.

The highlight of his season so far came in the Europa Conference League. In a penalty shootout against Ludogorets Razgrad, he managed to save all three penalties.

What the stats say

Verbruggen has started in 17 league matches this season and has shared the responsibility in goal with Hendrik Van Crombrugge. In all competitions, Verbruggen has played 24 matches.

In the league, he has kept eight clean sheets and boasts a save percentage of 75%. For context, De Gea has a save percentage of 70% in the Premier League.

The Dutch goalkeeper has faced a total of 84 shots and has made 63 saves. In comparison to De Gea, he also takes more touches per 90 and is superior at claiming crosses.

Verbruggen takes an average of 42 touches per 90, compared to the 33 De Gea takes. Being comfortable on the ball will be a key factor that Ten Hag is considering.

Standing at 6’4, the 20-year-old is also handy when it comes to claiming crosses. On average, he stops 10.8% of crosses, compared to De Gea who stops just 3.3%.

What has been said

“For me he is the best goalkeeper in the Jupiler Pro League,” Anderlecht head coach Brian Riemer told Voetbalkrant back in April.

“I would not change him for anyone. He is one of the most important players in the team now. And it is important to remember that he is only 20 and so much more has more potential.”

He is clearly highly rated at Anderlecht and they see him having a bright future in the game. United fans will surely be eager to see more of him after reading those quotes.

Verbruggen himself is keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to the speculation. “I don’t read that much, but sometimes you get a message forwarded,” he told De Telegraaf when asked about the rumours.

Who else is interested?

Along with United, Liverpool and Chelsea have also held an interest in the young shot-stopper. While Alisson is Liverpool’s undisputed number one, they are in the market for a new backup.

Current backup Caoimhin Kelleher seems eager to play first-team football elsewhere and so Liverpool are active in the goalkeeper market right now.

Chelsea have recently switched up their transfer policy to recruit young and upcoming stars and so a player like Verbruggen would fit into that transfer strategy.

How much would he cost?

The Dutch goalkeeper is contracted with Anderlecht until the summer of 2025. While the Belgian club do rate him highly, this summer could be the perfect time to cash in on him.

His current value is said to be in the region of €10million (£8.7million). Premier League clubs such as United or Liverpool would have no problem in matching this figure. However, with several sides seemingly interested, this could also drive his price tag up.

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