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Trossard looking forward to Berge reunion

Albion midfielder Leandro Trossard is looking forward to catching up with another graduate from one of the most prolific player production lines in Europe when Albion return to Premier League action.

By Bruce Talbot • 13 February 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring against Norwich earlier this season

Trossard joined the club last summer from Belgian club Genk, who have developed an enviable reputation in recent seasons for producing players and selling them on for big fees.

In January, two more followed Trossard into the Premier League. Aston Villa paid a reported £10m for Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta before midfielder Sander Berge linked up with Sheffield United for a club record fee of £22m.

Albion face United at Bramall Lane on 22nd February and Trossard said, “It’s great that Sander is in the Premier League now, he is a friend of mine and I am looking forward to catching up with him.”

Perhaps Genk’s most famous product is Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne. “I trained with him in the Genk academy and you could see he was talented and had the skills to go to the very top,” said Trossard.

By Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/Shutterstock
Sheffield United's Sander Berge is a product of Genk's prolific academy

“I don’t know what the secret is. It’s a great academy at Genk but Belgium has a lot of talented players. Genk want their players to be positive and play with an attacking mentality and now they have produced so many good players that they are an example to youngsters that if you work hard you will get a chance.

“It’s the same here at Brighton. Steven Alzate and Aaron Connolly have come into the squad this season having been developed in the Academy and that is a big incentive for everyone in our Academy about what they can achieve.”  

Trossard is finally hoping to make his international debut for Belgium in this summer’s European Championships after injury prevented him from joining the squad for their qualifiers earlier in the season.

“I should have made my debut in September but then I suffered my groin injury,” he said. “Once I was fit I was called up for the game against Russia in November, but I rolled my ankle during a training session and had to pull out so it was very frustrating.

“The coach [Roberto Martinez] said if I keep playing as I have done my chances will come and I’m confident my debut will come sooner rather than later.”

Belgium are considered one of the favourites for the tournament and face Russia, Denmark and Finland in the group stages.

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