Aster Vranckx reportedly caught the eye of a number of European clubs, before putting his future in the hands of Wolfsburg. bundesliga.com delves into the career path of the Belgium U19 international midfielder expected to make big gains in the real and digital world…
Club: Wolfsburg (officially joins in summer 2021 from Mechelen)
Position: Central midfielder
Country: Belgium (six U19 caps)
Vranckx, who is Belgium born but of Congolese descent, played for the Mechelen youths and U18s before being promoted to the senior side in summer 2019. After making his pro debut in the 2019 Belgian Super Cup, he got his first taste of the Jupiler League as a 38th-minute substitute for Jules Van Cleemput in a goalless draw with Anderlecht, aged 17. A further two substitute appearances followed during the first half of the 2019/20 campaign, but it was the new year that heralded his breakthrough.
Vranckx scored one and assisted two in six appearances between January and March 2020, producing one of each in a 2-0 win over Anderlecht. The coronavirus pandemic halted the season two months early, but not Vranckx's progress. The 6'0" right-footer had started the majority of Mechelen's league games in 2020/21 before penning a four-year deal to join Wolfsburg in summer 2021. He's also represented Belgium at every youth level up to and including the U19s.
Plays a bit like: Axel Witsel
A holding player in his early days, Vranckx possesses the guile, industry and tenacity of Borussia Dortmund and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, but brings a bit more to the table in an attacking sense. If Wolfsburg can tap into his budding attributes as the club did so successfully with Kevin De Bruyne in 2014/15, the Auto City Club could have a very handy box-to-box midfielder on their hands.
Did you know?
1) The Vranckx surname is pronounced phonetically - no funny business.
2) The youngster has a five-star weak foot rating on FIFA 21, with the potential to go from 66 to 84 overall.
What they're saying
"Axel's a very talented player who became a first-team regular for Mechelen at the age of 17, and he can operate in different midfield roles. We're very excited to take on his development." - Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer
"Several big clubs contacted us about Aster, but we want to avoid him becoming a plaything and being rented out for the next three years." - Vranckx's agent Peter Verplancke on why his client chose Wolfsburg