Last season, Antwerp wound the clock back to 1957 as they finally added another Belgian first division title to the trophy cabinet. They also grabbed another cup victory to add more trophies to the growing cabinet when they beat KV Mechelen. Financially well backed, the side have hopes of becoming a major force within Belgian football over the next few seasons and have a Champions League qualification campaign to look forward to.
Head coach: Mark van Bommel (Returning)
Transfers in: Senne Lammens (Club Brugge), George Ilenikhena (Amiens), Jacob Ondrejka (Elfsborg)
Transfers out: Faris Haroun (retired), Willian Pacho (Eintracht Frankfurt), Alexis De Sart (RWDM), Pieter Gerkens (free), Koji Miyoshi (Birmingham), Viktor Fischer (retired), Pierre Dwomoh (RWDM)
Player to watch: Jacob Ondrejka
The 20-year-old Swedish international comes with plenty of promise and a reputation for being exciting. Antwerp were solid defensively as they won the title, but did lack some creativity and goals out wide. Ondrejka should be able to hit the ground running, having been playing in the Allsvenskan over the past few months. In 12 games he has seven goals and five assists for an entertaining Elfsborg side. Antwerp will be hoping that he can repeat this output for them over the course of the 2023/2024 season.
With Pacho gone, the side need another central defender to partner Toby Alderweireld. The two led the best defence in the league and Pacho’s pace helped to make up for any lack of pace in the veteran Belgian international. It’s highly unlikely that Marc Overmars is not currently working on bringing in another defender, as well as a central midfielder after they appear to have missed out on Calvin Stengs.
The side should certainly be able to compete for another title this season. Expect the squad to be ready by the end of the window for another run in against what many predict will be the likes of Genk and Club Brugge. How European football impacts the side is what will determine their success domestically. Last season they had no European football to contend with so could remain fresh for the cup and the league.