Anderlecht’s title winning team of 2016/2017: Where are they now?

Anderlecht moved level on points with Union St Gilloise in the race for the Belgian title this weekend. The Mauves are chasing a 35th top flight title. Their previous came during the 2016/2017 season, so we decided to look at what happened to the players from that team. The side topped the table in the regular season before going on to win the play-offs, winning six games and losing just once.

Head coach: René Weiler

Weiler only lasted one season with the Mauves, but it was quite successful. The Swiss head coach was gone by September the 18th 2017, spending a few months away from football having won just two of their opening seven league games. He spent time back in Switzerland with FC Luzern before joining Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Japanese side Kashima Anterls. In July 2023 he was appointed head coach of Servette FC. The Swiss side have had a successful European campaign and are currently second in the Swiss Super League.

Goalkeeper: Frank Boeckx

Boeckx joined the side in the summer of 2015, having spent a sesaon with Antwerp in the second tier of Belgian football. Prior to playing for the Great Old, the goalkeeper had been with both Sint-Truiden and Gent. He only made 15 regular season appearances but was the regular starter in the play-offs, keeping five clean sheets in ten games and only conceding four goals overall. He remained with the Mauves until retiring in 2020.

Right-back: Dennis Appiah

Anderlecht signed Dennis Appiah for around €3m in the summer of that season from SM Caen. He was a regular starter during the play-offs for the side, with nine starts and over 800 minutes played. Appiah left Anderlecht in the summer of 2019 to join Nantes, where he remained up until January 2023. He currently plays for Saint-Etienne in Ligue 2.

Centre back: Uros Spajic

Serbian defender Uros Spajic joined Anderlecht at the start of the campaign from Ligue 1 side Toulouse. He was a regular during the play-offs as well, and would go on to make 75 appearances for the side, scoring three goals and providing three assists. In 2018 he joined Krasnodar, before spells with Feyenoord and Kasimpasa. In 2022 he re-joined Red Star back in Belgrade, where he had began his career. At the age of 31 he still plays for Serbian giants.

Centre back: Kara Mbodj

Senegalese international Kara Mbodj was taken from fellow Pro League side Genk in the summer of 2015. The former Diambars FC defender had been with Tromsø before making the move to Belgium. Mbodj would go on to make 114 appearances for Anderlecht, including eight starts during the play-offs. he scored four goals that season and provided four assists as part of his seven goals for the club during his spell. He spent the 2018/2019 season on loan with FC Nnates before joining Al-Sailiya SC in Qatar. He was recently training with Anderlecht again to keep fit as he looks for a new club. Mbodj is 34 and is currently a free agent.

Left-back: Ivan Obradovic

Ivan Obradovic played almost every minute of the play-offs for Anderlecht. The Serbian international joined in 2015 for around €2.5m from KV Mechelen and proved to be a bargain. He made 90 appearances in total for Anderlecht, scoring once and providing seven assists. In 2019 he was cleared of wrongdoing by a Spanish court that was investigating match fixing in a game between Zaragoza and Levante during the 2010/2011 season. In 2019 he left Anderlecht for Poland and joined Legia Warszawa, but never made an appearance for the first team and being touted as one of the sides worst ever signings. He then returned to the club he began at in Partizan Belgrade until retiring in 2022.

Central midfield: Youri Tielemans

The star of the side, then teenager Youri Tielemans had already scored 12 goals and provided eight assists during the regular season. His 10 play-off appearances, with one goal and five assists, would be his last for the club. That summer he left to join Monaco, before ending up at Leicester City. Overall he played 185 times for Anderlecht, scoring 35 goals and providing 31 assists. Tielemans currently plays for Aston Villa having left Leicester after 195 appearances, 28 goals and 26 assists.

Central midfield: Leander Dendoncker

Another young talent coming out of the Anderlecht academy, Dendoncker played every minute of the play-offs for the Mauves as they won the title. He played one more season with the side before leaving to join Wolves in 2018. He left after 171 appearances, 11 goals and four assists. In 2022 he joined Aston Villa, but after a year and a half now plays for Napoli in Serie A until the end of the season.

Central midfield: Adrien Trébel

Adrien Trébel made the controversial switch from Anderlecht’s biggest rivals Standard Liege that January for around €3m. The midfielder played eight times during the play-offs as part of the midfield three and would remain on Anderlecht’s books until the summer of 2023. However, despite making 127 appearances, scoring nine goals and providing 21 assists, his final seasons at the club were dissapointing. His wages became a major issue, and he spent time either outside of the squad or on loan with the likes of Lausanne-Sport. In the summer he joined Charleroi but has been frozen out of the club after just six appearances and 190 minutes of football.

Central midfield/winger: Sofiane Hanni

Algerian international Sofiane Hanni was another who joined the side form KV Mechelen. The Mauves spent around €1.6m to bring him over from KV Mechelen to start the season. The attacking midfielder scored 10 goals and provided 14 assists during the championship campaign, scoring eight and providing six assists in the next season as well. He then left for Spartak Moscow during the winter transfer window. He left Anderlecht with impressive numbers; 23 goals and 25 assists in just 86 games. During the 2019/2020 season he left Russia after struggling to replicate his success in Belgium, joining Al-Gharafa SC in Qatar and then Al Ahli SC in the same league. Hanni currently plays for Al-Khor SC.

Winger: Alexandru Chipciu

Romanian international Chipciu joined from Steau Bucharest during the summer of 2016. He was a regular under Weiler, grabbing five goals and eight assists that season. His second campaign was disappointing, with just one assist and no goals. After a loan spell with Sparta Prague, he joined CFR Clun in 2020 for free. Chipciu is currently with another Cluj side, U Cluj.

Striker: Lukasz Teodorczyk

Polish striker Lukasz Teodorczyk led the line for the side that season. The striker was loaned from Dynamo Kyiv, and following his successful season the Mauves made the move permanent the following year. He scored 22 goals in 38 games across the regular season and the play-offs. The following year he grabbed another 15 goals before a big money move to Udinese. However, he struggled in Serie A with just one goal in 32 games. He joined Charleroi on loan in 2020 but only scored once in 17 games. The striker last played for LR Vicenza in Serie B, but again struggled for form and is currently a free agent. His time at Anderlecht was certainly the best of his career, with 45 goals in 93 games.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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