Now that the competition has come to a standstill during the international break, we take a look back at the players who made an impression at the start of the season that we didn’t really expect.
Before presenting our selection, we would like to clarify the importance of the term “surprise”. Some players who are currently performing at their expected level or in line with the abilities they knew before this season are not included in the roster.
So no selection for top players such as Bryan Heynen and Mike Trésor (Genk), Mathieu Maertens (OHL), Selim Amallah (Standard) or even Kamal Sowah (Bruges), who have always been intrinsically very good players and who confirm – or are reviving this season . Because the line is sometimes quite thin or complicated to draw when drawing up this list, here are the players who are considered “surprise” after 9 days of play.
Logically we start with Standard, as a team perhaps the biggest surprise of the season. Some players like Denis Dragus (3 goals in 9 matches) show great things. The Romanian is in a way the symbol of a Standard that is finally revived, that manages to win again and give its fans nice evenings at Sclessin again. Another example is William Balikwisha, who has gone from being an unwanted player to become a crowd favorite again. He did very well against Club Brugge and is still a great talent.
Then we move on to Oud-Heverlee Leuven, where two players have been shining since the start of the season: Louis Patris and Mousa Al-Tamari. The first has completely exploded this season. He has come out of anonymity and has already handed out 5 assists. Al-Tamari is also having a very good season, as we saw against Anderlecht and Standard. He has scored 3 goals this season and has already equaled his record from last season.
Of course, Maxim De Cuyper’s excellent start to the season at KVC Westerlo should not be overlooked either. The youngster who is loaned out by Club Brugge to KVC Westerlo for the second season shows himself to all of Belgium. For the people who ruffs following in 1B last year may not be the biggest surprise, but it was hard to expect that the move to the highest level would be so easy for him. Recently De Cuyper brought Charleroi to its knees with his own hands. The 21-year-old left wing defender has already provided 4 assists in 9 games and has become one of the key players at Westerlo.
Kamal Sowah is making a comeback at Club Brugge, but we don’t look at him as a surprise. Another name that we can consider as a surprise with blue-black is Abakar Sylla. The centre-back is only 19 years old, but already has six Pro League appearances under his belt – including 5 starting spots – and two Champions League appearances – with a memorable goal against Leverkusen. Sylla is young, talented, but still has to take steps to control his concentration and emotions.
We can also mention players like Joseph Paintsil (Genk) or Marius Mouandilmadji (Seraing), because they could already open mouths this season.