Can Julien Duranville follow in the footsteps of Ousmane Dembele and Jadon Sancho by becoming the latest crowd-pleasing wide man to flourish at Borussia Dortmund? - © IMAGO/VIRGINIE LEFOUR/IMAGO/Belga
Can Julien Duranville follow in the footsteps of Ousmane Dembele and Jadon Sancho by becoming the latest crowd-pleasing wide man to flourish at Borussia Dortmund? - © IMAGO/VIRGINIE LEFOUR/IMAGO/Belga
bundesliga

Julien Duranville: Who is Borussia Dortmund’s new Belgian wonderkid?

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In signing Julien Duranville, Borussia Dortmund invested in one of the most highly rated attacking youngsters to come out of Belgian football in years.

bundesliga.com has all the details on the gifted ex-Anderlecht wing man…

Julien Duranville

Age: 16
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Winger
Country: Belgium (two caps for the U19s)

Key Stats

Duranville joined Anderlecht at the age of seven. The son of a Congolese mother and a father who grew up in the Cote d’Ivoire, he moved in quick strides on and off the pitch at the 34-time Belgian champions. He soon earned the nickname “lightning bolt” due to his speed as a youngster, and his career progressed with similar momentum at a club renowned throughout Europe for carefully helping talented youngsters to build on their potential.

The new Dortmund attacker made his professional debut two weeks after his 16th birthday - playing his first match for Anderlecht against Club Brugge on the final day of the 2021/22 season. In September 2022 he scored his first goals at senior level - for two different Anderlecht teams on the same weekend. On Friday the teenager netted for the U23 team, who now play in the Belgian second tier. On the Sunday, meanwhile, he got his first top-flight goal against OH Leuven. Coming off the bench for his first appearance of the 2022/23 campaign, Duranville brilliantly planted the ball in the corner from the edge of the area.

In total, the rapid and wiry winger made six appearances for the Brussels-region giants in the Belgian Pro League during the first half of that season. He also featured four times as a substitute in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage against FCSB, Silkeborg and West Ham. Duranville likely would have made several more appearances if not for injury, but his star was clearly on the rise. He was still only 16 when he made his debut for the Belgium U19 team in September 2022. The youngster took the next step in his career when he joined Dortmund on a ????-year deal in January 2023.

Plays a bit like: Jadon Sancho

Pace is Duranville’s biggest asset, but he also possesses plenty of tricks to help him wriggle free of the men marking him. As a predominately right-footed winger who often plays on the left, he brings to mind England winger Sancho - who finished with 50 goals in 137 appearances for Dortmund between August 2017 and July 2021. As a player with all the attributes to be a real crowd pleaser, Duranville is also similar to Barcelona and France wide man Ousmane Dembele. Dembele got six goals and 13 assists in his one Bundesliga campaign with BVB during the 2016/17 season.

Durvanville (r.) in action at the 2022 UEFA U19 European Championships. - IMAGO/Vincent Kalut/IMAGO/Panoramic International

Did you know? 

In May 2022 Durvanville was handed his senior debut by another Belgian who burst onto the scene at Anderlecht as a teenager. In one of his final acts as Anderlecht manager before he moved on to Burnley, former Belgium, Manchester City and Hamburg defender Vincent Kompany was the man who felt that the youngster was ready for the top level.

What they're saying

“He’s a top talent - an absolute top talent. He’s a winger whose physical test results are unprecedented. He combines that with a phenomenal technique.” – Peter Verbeke - who was then Anderlecht’s CEO - speaking about a 15-year-old Duranville

“Julien is a pure talent who can perform well on both flanks. He’s lightning fast, an unpredictable dribbler and he’s also very effective in front of goal. Julien is also a real winner.” Anderlecht academy director Jean Kindermans speaking after Duranville signed his first professional contract in May 2021