Last week, it was made official that Belgian teenager Julien Duranville would be heading to Borussia Dortmund. The winger was signed by Die Schwarzgelben from Anderlecht for a guaranteed €8.5m, plus add-ons and a percentage of a future sale. That is a considerable price to pay for such a young player with few caps under his belt. Yet why did Dortmund end up with Duranville and what can be expected from the 16-year-old?
Financial problems at Anderlecht
It is no secret at this point that Anderlecht are struggling financially. In what has been an underwhelming campaign domestically for the Paars-Wit, it looks strange to see them part ways with a promising player like Duranville.
Yet, the reality is that the wage bill at Anderlecht needs to be trimmed. In fact, several players have been put on the market in this winter transfer market. Players like Wesley Hoedt, Benito Raman, Kylian Sardella, and Hendrik Van Crombrugge are all transfer listed, whilst loanees Fabio Silva and Sebastiano Esposito have already left the club. The need to cut the wage bill at the Brussels side is important. Thus, several players who they may not have wanted to sell are now being pushed out of the club.
What to expect from Julien Duranville
Remarkably, Duranville has featured in just 15 games for Anderlecht, between the senior team and under 23 team, the latter playing in the second division in Belgium. He has scored once for both the senior and youth side this season.
Born in Belgium to a Martinican father and Congolese mother, Duranville currently plays for the Belgian U19s. The winger has two caps at the U19 level for the Red Devils, both qualifiers for the U19 Euros. He was even on Roberto Martinez’s preliminary squad for last year’s FIFA World Cup after impressing in the matches he has taken part in.
Primarily playing on the right wing, Duranville has already shown excellent dribbling skills and quality bursts of speed. That was evident in his frequent cameos with Anderlecht’s senior team. He was frequently deployed as a wing-back when used this season with the senior team, back when Felice Mazzu was coach of the record Belgian champions. He did start two games for the senior team, lasting just 30 minutes in the second game after picking up an injury.
During his time with Anderlecht’s U23s, he played four times in the second tier, scoring once. There, ‘Juju’ played as a winger, predominantly on the left. As he is still very young, he did not play the full 90 minutes in his time in Brussels.
Recovering from a hamstring injury, Duranville will soon be available for selection for Dortmund. Edin Terzić’s side sit fourth in the Bundesliga following a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
GGFN | David Parkes