One 2 Watch – Michy Batshuayi

by Richard Wilkins

Michy Batshuayi20 | Forward | Standard Liege | Belgian

Michy Batshuayi is a 20-year-old striker who plays for Standard Liege. He has made 83 appearances since his first senior appearance in February 2011 and has scored a reputable 35 goals in that period.

The Belgian U-21 forward began his youth career with moderately unknown sides RFC Evere and RUSA Schaarbeek before being picked up in Brussels. He then developed onto Anderlecht before a return to the capital in 2007.

However, he caught the eye of Standard Liege in 2008 at the age of fifteen and began to style his mode of play around the club’s expectations of him.

His development has rewarded him with caps in the UEFA Europa League in his biggest game yet in a 1-0 victory over Danish champions FC Copenhagen in 2011-12, with the young striker scoring the only goal of the game.

Despite minute inconsistencies in 2012, Batshuayi began to hit the ground running in 2013 which has seen him win the hearts of the Standard. In the 2013-14 season the young Belgian has scored 15 goals and registered 3 assists in 22 league appearances so far this season including an impressive hat-trick over KV Oostende.

His precision has seen him start a heap full of games for his country’s U-21 side and rightly so after helping Standard Liege to a four point lead at the top of the Belgian Pro-League this term ahead of Club Brugge and Anderlecht.

Batshuayi had been a notable target for Roberto Martinez before drafting in Lacina Traore on loan from Monaco but their hopes were dashed after a £7 million deal suffered a double setback. Borussia Dortmund seem to be front-runners for his signature and are willing to meet Standard Liege’s demanding price as they look for a long-term replacement for the departing Robert Lewandowski to rivals Bayern Munich on July 1st. Batshuayi has admitted he will not leave the Belgian leaders at least until the end of the season but has not ruled out staying.

Late news over the past couple of weeks have seen prominent consideration from Arsene Wenger. It is though Arsenal are willing to up the bid to £10 million. The Gunners are said to be huge admirers of his pace, strength and agility and believe he would be a genuine alternative to Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo.

Substantial interest such as this suggests Batshuayi will not be playing his trade in his homeland next season. This is a player with extreme confidence who can put the ball in the back of the net with both feet, with various types of finish. His intimate relationship with the ball sees it stick to his feet with fancy footwork fooling the opposition, whilst a big trait of his sees him leaving the goalkeeper flat on his rear as he leaps around them.

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