Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Borussia Dortmund’s next star is ready and waiting to arrive onto the scene with a £10m deal completed with Anderlecht.
Julien Duranville, was of interest to Nathan Jones’ Southampton before the German giants pulled ahead in the race to bring the 16-year-old to Signal Iduna Park on a long-term deal.
With the Black and Yellow having added another starlet to their books, Sportsmail delves into just who Dortmund have signed and what you need to know about their next young star.
Julien Duranville has officially moved from Anderlecht to German giants Borussia Dortmund
Duranville can play on either wing and possesses an insatiable desire to run at defences, utilising his pace, flair and agility.
The 16-year-old has represented Belgium at U19 level and turned out for Anderlecht’s senior side on 10 occasions, even playing 45 minutes against West Ham in a 1-0 loss back in July.
Coming out of Anderlecht’s famed academy – which has produced the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Dries Mertens and Vincent Kompany – it’s no wonder Duranville has attracted interest from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Nicknamed ‘Blitz’ for his electrifying pace and dribbling, Duranville is set to be immediately thrust into the first-team squad once he recovers from a muscular injury.
The 16-year-old impressed for Anderlecht and has made 10 appearances for the Belgian club
What they’re saying
Vincent Kompany handed Duranville his debut for Anderlecht last season before leaving for Burnley.
Though it seems the Manchester City legend has not forgotten about his former pupil, labelling him as a future Ballon d’Or contender.
After mentioning Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Gavi, he said: ‘Here’s one for you. Duranville. No pressure.’
‘He’s an agile and tricky player,’ Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl told German outlet Ruhr-Nachrichten. ‘We see his potential, but he’s just coming out of injury and will certainly need some time to work his way up.’
‘We’re very pleased that Julien and his family have placed great trust in us and that he will now be wearing our colours,’ Kehl said Friday in a statement on the club website.
‘Julien is a fast, technically strong and creative winger in whom we see great potential. In the coming years, we would like to work together to leverage this potential and drive forward his development – as we have already demonstrated with talented youngsters on several occasions in the past.
He is set to be part of the senior set up according to sporting director, Sebastian Kehl (R)
‘Our main focus will now be on integrating Julien into our first-team squad and his new surroundings as quickly as possible and bringing him up to Bundesliga level step-by-step.’
In September, Duranville became the second-youngest player to score a league goal for Anderlecht at 16 years and 122 days, almost eclipsing the record held by Lukaku.
‘When you see Duranville… I’ve never seen [a player like him] before,’ former coach Samba Diawara told French outlet La Derniere Heure.
Vincent Kompany has described the Belgian U19 winger as a future Ballon d’Or candidate
‘It is not difficult to deal with such a talent, because he has been so well coached. I was amazed by the intelligence of the young players at Anderlecht. They train players but also make men of them.
‘Julien speaks perfect French, English and Dutch. He is extremely respectful, attentive and humble.’
Despite representing the country of his birth at youth level, Duranville was born to an Ivorian father and Congolese mother, meaning he can represent either of the African nations if he so chooses.
Known for his electrifying speed and dribbling ability, Duranville is affectionately called ‘Blitz’
Ex-team-mate Adrien Trebel told RTL Sport the teen sensation has a future on the biggest stages.
‘With the qualities he has, I think Julien is the future of Belgium,’ he said. ‘You can’t forget that he is still only 16 years old. At the moment, he still has a lot of progress to make, especially on a physical level.
‘His body may not be ready to play 90 minutes every weekend. But Julien listens well, and he works hard to strengthen his body as much as possible.’
Following in famous footsteps
Duranville is yet another youngster with his pathway to stardom fast-tracked in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region. Jadon Sancho joined the club, similarly aged at just 17. So too, Jude Bellingham.
There is a common road to success for many players who have started their career – be it youth or senior careers elsewhere – before joining Dortmund’s renowned set up, often turning out some of the continent’s most prized young stars.
Current Manchester City phenom, Erling Haaland arrived a little more mature, at 19.
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (L) celebrates his first Dortmund goal with Jude Bellingham this week
Though, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens – who scored a goal the Norwegian would’ve been proud of this week – left City for Dortmund in 2020 at 16.
A clear career plan seems to be set out for precocious talents who arrive at the Bundesliga powerhouse.
Bedding into the senior squads before getting opportunities to perform and stay in the team.
No example is clearer than prodigious 18-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko, who recently signed a new three-year deal at the club.
With a bright nucleus of similarly aged and gifted talent, alongside the experience of Marco Reus and Co, Duranville has every chance to close in on becoming the irrepressible star Kompany and others expect him to be.
Both Jadon Sancho (L) and Erling Haaland (R) established themselves as stars with Dortmund