Wolves Opinion: Zinho Vanheusden would be a massive coup for the Balck Country outfit
The talented youngster, who is rated at £17.8 million by the San Siro-based outfit, has attracted interest from Wolves, Southampton and Bundesliga outfit Mainz, whilst Standard Liege are also keen to keep their former academy product at the club permanently. (h/t HBVL)
Vanheusden was an ever-present at the back for the Belgian heavyweights this past season and racked up a total of 30 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice in the process. The 19-year-old came through the youth ranks at Standard Liege before his incredible talent and vast potential prompted Inter Milan to swoop for him back in 2015.
Despite regarded as one of the brightest emerging defensive prospects in Europe, Vanheusden is yet to make a senior competitive appearance for Inter Milan, with a series of injuries stalling his progress through the reserve and youth sides.
However, his successful one-and-a-half seasons in Belgium has seen his price tag soar quite high in recent times and, with Wolves and Southampton taking a closer look at the 19-year-old, the Belgian might as well earn a coveted move to the Premier League this summer.
Vanhuesden is yet to represent Belgium at the senior international level, which is quite understandable, given the presence of stalwarts like Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen in the national side. However, the 19-year-old has already featured for Belgium at all youth levels from U-15 to U-21, accumulating a total of 41 caps in the process.
Standing at 6ft. 2 inches with a towering frame, Vanheusden has showcased a level of maturity that defies his tender years, both in terms of composure and decision-making.
Physically dominant and strong in the air, the 19-year-old also excels with his game-reading and tackling skills at the back. Very much a modern-day ball-playing defender in the making, the 19-year-old is adept at playing the ball out from the back, whilst also possessing the range of passing to set up attacks from the back.
To put things into perspective, Zinho Vanhuesden is widely regarded as one of the best upcoming centre-backs in Europe and he would, indeed, be an excellent long-term investment for both Wolves and Southampton.
Southampton, under Hasenhuttl, have shown an inclination towards scouting talented youngsters in the market and Vanheusden perfectly fits the bill, but Wolves should also look at him as a useful squad player for the upcoming season.
Looking at things from Wolves’ perspective, Nuno Espirito Santo should go all out in his pursuit of the highly-rated Serie A starlet this summer, given that he needs more depth and quality in his squad to compete in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.
Stability at the back was one of the hallmarks of Wolves’ successful campaign in the Premier League last season, and while the likes of Conor Coady, Ryan Bennett and Willy Boly are likely to retain their first-team roles next term, Vanheusden has all the talent in the world to push for a place in the starting eleven.
The likes of Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss are certainly capable of playing as quarter-backs in Nuno Santo’s back-three system but the presence of a specialist top-quality promising defender like Vanhuesden would increase competition for places at the back.
Moreover, he is still only 19 and Wolves could have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his promise in the years to come.
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Having said that, Wolves should look to try and get one over their Premier League rivals by winning the race to sign the talented teenager this summer.