Belgian prospect Arthur Vermeeren cannot believe how quickly his life is transforming after a breakout season for Royal Antwerp. At 18, the defensive midfielder has already attracted interest from Premier League clubs.
Newcastle United are reportedly one of the sides aiming to bring Vermeeren to England as Dan Ashworth aims to reshape the academy. Several youth players, including Australian international Garang Kuol, arrived following the sporting director’s appointment last summer.
Vermeeren made his first league start against Club Brugge in November and has started every Antwerp game since. A contract until 2026 means there is no pressure for the Belgian outfit to sell.
Midfield is an area of weakness for Newcastle, with Eddie Howe down to the bare bones at times this season. Jonjo Shevley’s exit and Joelinton’s suspension means, as it stands, the Magpies have just three fully-fit midfielders to choose from.
Speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws, Vermeeren admitted he is shocked by his rapid rise but has no plans to leave Antwerp anytime soon. He said: “Everything (has) changed faster than expected. That’s only positive. At the same time, not much has changed in my life.
“I play with the first team at the weekend, but, otherwise, I still go to school outside of football and I’m at home staying by myself. I keep my feet on the ground and that’s the most important thing.
“I’m not at all concerned with those kinds of rumours. I also realise that I can’t sit anywhere better at the moment than Antwerp. There is a lot of mutual trust and I can continue to grow here. Why would I want to leave already?”
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