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Image Source: theguardian.com

Written by: Guest author

Heading into the tournament, the predictions on the World Cup winners sites suggested that Belgium were considered outside favourites to win the trophy. However after their impressive opening game performance against Panama, and the less impressive displays of the other nations so far, Belgium have the potential to make it very far in this World Cup tournament.

The European nation are currently in the middle of their ‘golden generation’ and with the majority of their players playing at the highest level in the game, they will need to win a piece of silverware in the next couple of tournament to ensure that their best crop of players live up to their potential.

Although this squad is one of the best that Belgium has had in years, only one of the players in the squad plays in Belgium whilst the rest play in other leagues all over the world.

Some players are playing in Italy, whilst others are in France. However, the league that features the most Belgium players which are at the World Cup is the Premier League in England. In total, there are 11 players in the final 23 man squad that play in England. Here is a list of the top 5 Belgian players who currently play in the Premier League.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Manchester City Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best Belgian player around at the moment, and also amongst the best in the world.

Regarded as the ‘complete midfielder’, De Bruyne was a vital part of the Manchester City side which managed to achieve a record point total of 100 points in the 2017/18 season.

The advanced playmaker managed to play in all but one Premier League game, recording sixteen assists in the process. The midfielder also managed to find the back of the net eight times.

De Bruyne has also impressed during his time with the national team in the past few seasons with some impressive performances, including getting an assist in Belgium’s opening World Cup group game against Algeria in 2014:

ROMELU LUKAKU

While De Bruyne has been racking up the assists for Manchester City, striker Romelu Lukaku has been firing in the goals for rivals Manchester United.

After spending four successful season at Everton, Lukaku moved to United for an initial fee of £75 million, plus £15 million in add-ons. The transfer fee was the second-highest fee paid by the club for a player, around £15 million more than Angel Di Maria, and around £15 million less than record signing Paul Pogba.

Despite having a large transfer fee over his head, Lukaku didn’t let the pressure get to him as he managed to score a total of 27 goals in all competitions. This goal tally was the best of his career so far.

With the forward recording some impressive goal scoring figures in his career so far, this tournament could not come at a better time for Lukaku and the Belgium squad. If the striker gets some good service, he has the potential to end up as the top goal scorer.

EDEN HAZARD

Another attacker who has put in a number of impressive performances this season is Eden Hazard. The Chelsea winger is only 27 years old, but has been competing at the top level of football for the majority of his career.

Apart from their FA Cup win against Manchester United, the 2017/18 season was a disappointing one for Chelsea. Despite this, the season was still one of the best seasons of his career as the Belgian scored 17 goals. This was achieved despite missing the first few games of the season due to an ankle injury.

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Image Source: express.co.uk

VINCENT KOMPANY

While the players mentioned so far are in the prime of their career, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is approaching the end of his. For the majority of his career, Kompany has been described as one of the best defenders in world football due to his physicality and his excellent positioning.

Despite his world class ability, Kompany has had an issue with injuries throughout his career. His participation in this summer’s tournament was up in the air at the start of the month after he picked up a groin injury in Belgium’s 0-0 draw with Portugal. Although the defender picked up the injury, he was still included in Belgium’s 23-man World Cup squad.

Due to his injury, it is unlikely that Kompany will play in a lot of games. However as a natural leader, the Manchester City player could help calm a few nerves of some of the younger players in the squad.

THIBAUT COURTOIS

Although the Chelsea goalkeeper didn’t have the finest season of his career in the past year, the tall goalkeeper has been ever-present in the national team ever since his debut in November 2011 and will be the first choice keeper to play in goal for the team in the World Cup this summer.

As mentioned earlier, this season hasn’t been the greatest in his career, but Courtois still has the ability to perform at a world class level when needed and keep his team in the game.

Considering that the Belgian has only just turned 26, you would expect Courtois to remain as the number one goalkeeper for a number of years.

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