Despite the lack of clarity and the fact that most teams still have to make a lot of transfers, we are already going to kick off the forecasts for next season. Tuesday 4 August we will discuss Antwerp. They may aim higher than ever, it seems.
In the 2019-2020 season, Antwerp played for the second place until the last day of the regular season, albeit at a respectable distance from champion Club Brugge. Still, they were the only team to beat blue-black.
With a disorganized team – the newcomers were not yet allowed to play – the cup final was won again by the same Club Brugge. It is reason enough to assume that Antwerp – perhaps together with Ghent – should become the ultimate challenger. We already expect a high ranking, the Bosuil dreams of the Champions League – but there is no rush.
Antwerp has got rid of some expensive players in terms of wages (Mirallas, Defour, Bolat, …) and also saw Baby, Hoedt and Arslanagic leave from De Bosuil. On the incoming side, two goalkeepers (Butez and Beiranvand) and further De Pauw, Verstraete and Boya have been brought in.
This means that the first part of the transfers is behind us, it is possible that a gear will now be shifted higher. The cup win gives right to European groups, so there will certainly be three more reinforcements.
Strengths / Question Marks
With Arslanagic and Hoedt, two central defenders left Royal Antwerp, but in the cup final Seck, Pius and De Laet did well in the back. We know the qualities of Buta and Juklerod when they are in shape and there is also some quality in midfield.
Will Lamkel Zé get a new chance and can he show himself to the talent he has? Then the Cameroonian is certainly an asset, while in the front Dieumerci Mbokani will also have its value this season.
Perhaps the biggest question mark is: can Ivan Leko also provide dominant football and three-pointers against the small teams? It was rarely a problem for The Great Old against the top players, but you also win a title (especially) against the ‘little ones’. And now that there are 18 teams in 1A, two more will be added …