Young Axel Witsel has certainly got a lot of courtship at the moment: he’s being closely monitored by top European clubs (Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal and Inter MIlan), and everyone tags him as the next big hope of Belgian football. Could this Diable Rouge soon make his big move to the Premier League, and become a “Red Devil” (the English version) of his own right?
Axel Witsel Biography
Axel Witsel (born January 12, 1989) is a Belgian football player of French origin who currently plays for Standard Liège in Belgium. His natural position is right-winger but he can easily also play on the left wing or central midfield. His father has roots in Martinique (French Caribbean) and is a former football player.
Witsel started his career in the youth squad of Standard when he was just 9 years old, after being spotted while playing for RCS Visé. At age 15, he was linked to prestigious clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Feyenoord, but eventually decided to finish his training in his home country.
In September 2006 a 17-year-old Witsel made his debut in a competitive game against FC Brussels when he replaced Steven Defour in the 89th minute. Eleven days later he made his European debut as a substitute against Chorley Fc.
During the 2007-2008 season, at 18 years of age, he was a key member in the team that won the Belgian League title. During this year, he formed the very young midfield together with other Belgian talents such as Marouane Fellaini (19 at the time, and now in full force at EPL club Everton) and Steven Defour (also 19 at the time).
In March 2008, after a long spell in the U-21 squad (in which he often appeared, but apparently never played) he was called up for the first time in the Belgian national team, scheduled to play a friendly match against Morocco. Witsel made his first senior apperance that game, also scoring his first goal just minutes after coming on.
Early in the current (2008/09) season, his good performances for Standard Liège against Liverpool and Everton (Champions League qualifiers and UEFA Cup), as well as his matches with Belgium against Estonia and Spain, earned him the attention of big European clubs.
|AXEL WITSEL PROFILE|
|.||Full name:||Axel Witsel|
|Date of birth:||12-Jan-1989 (age 19)|
|Place of birth:||Liège, Belgium|
|Height:||1.83m / 6.0ft.|
|Weight:||73kg / 160lbs|
|Playing position:||Right/Central Midfielder|
|Agent:||Vidal Correa Jorge|
|Est. market value:||â‚¬6.5m (£5.4m)|
|Belgian League winner:||2007/08|
|Belgian Cup runner-up:||2006/07|
|Belgian Young Footballer of the Year:||2007/08|
|National youth team|
|U-17 Euro 2006 (Luxembourg, first round)|
|U-21 Euro 2007 (Netherlands, semi-finals)|
|First selection and cap:||2008-Mar-26 (vs. Morocco)|
|First international goal:||2008-Mar-26 (vs. Morocco)|
|AXEL WITSEL PLAYING STATS|
|All-Time Club Performance|
|Statistics (updated to November 13, 2008) courtesy of Wikipedia and IMScouting.com|
AXEL WITSEL VIDEOS
AXEL WITSEL TRANSFER RUMOURS
Football clubs Axel Witsel has been linked with: