One of Belgium’s most impressive defenders, 22-year-old Bjorn Engels, has been on the radar of a number of elite European clubs since establishing himself as a mainstay in the Club Brugge first team. The defender has been scouted by the Gunners and the Toffees, who are both currently in the hunt for European football next season, but it is clear he has a passion for English football in general.
Everton are looking into the transfer market for a defender to replace Phil Jagielka, one of their old war horses. With age catching up, Ronald Koeman is looking to inject some young blood into the team in the form of someone who could partner Ashley Williams at the back.
Everton had their fair share of defensive problems this season with injuries to key players like Williams and Jagielka halting their winning run and they are currently placed 6th in the Premier League. Ronald Koeman, a master tactician knows the importance of a good defender who could save many crucial points from being dropped this season.
Koeman has been praised by many for giving opportunities to young players like Mason Holgate and Matthew Pennington and Engels is another player who can turn into a household name under him.
Born in Kaprijke, Belgium, Engels began his career at Club Brugge since first joining them at the age of twelve, having previously been with youth clubs FC Kaprijke-Bentille, FC Lembeke and Lokeren before joining Brugge in 2006. After progressing through the ranks of the academy, Engels appeared as an unused substitute, in a match against Gent on 29 October 2011, which saw Club Brugge win 5–4. It wasn’t until the 20th September 2012 when Engels made his professional debut in the UEFA Europa League against Girondins de Bordeaux.
Engels made his league debut on 4th August 2013 in the second game of the 2013–14 season against Oostende. He played the full game and scored the opening goal in the 3rd minute helping his side to a 2-1 victory. After going through the ranks of Belgium U17s, Belgium U18s and Belgium U19s, Engels received his first call-up to the senior Belgium squad in March 2016 for a friendly against Portugal but did not make it onto the field. Two months later, Engels was again called up for the senior Belgium squad ahead of the Euro 2016 tournament. However, Engels suffered a thigh injury that ruled him out of the tournament.
Engels remains under contract with Club Brugge until 2020 and it will be a bargain for Everton if they are able to sign him up this summer.
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