Westerlo had a strong return to the Pro League during the 2022/2023 season. They were in with a shout of the top four for a long time during the season, but did fall away slightly during the play-offs. Despite losing Lyle Foster midway through the season, they still scored goals and entertained. However, they have lost their best player in Maxim De Cuyper, who returned to parent club Club Brugge. They have brought in plenty of exciting youngsters, so could be one for the scouts looking for young emerging talent.
Head coach: Jonas De Roeck (Returning)
Transfers in: Adedire Emmanuel Awokoya-Mebude (Manchester City), Matija Frigan (Rijecka), Thomas Van Den Keybus (Club Brugge), Tuur Rommens (Genk), Arthur Piedfort (PSV Eindhoven), Irsan Muric (Club Brugge), Jordan Bos (Melbourne City FC), Lucas Stassin (Anderlecht)
Transfers out: Oguz Guctekin (Boluspor), Igor Vetokele (Lommel)
Player to watch: Matija Frigan
Westerlo beat a number of sides to the signing of Frigan. The 20-year-old Croatian scored 14 goals for Rijeka last season and has been capped at youth level by Croatia. Westerlo needed to replace creativity and goals from players leaving, and in Frigan they may have found the answer. All eyes are on whether or not he can reproduce his form in the Croatian HNL in Belgium.
With the addition of Frigan, and the arrival of Anderlecht young striker Lucas Stassin, Westerlo appear to have replaced all the outgoings with some new exciting talent. The squad looks a lot more balanced than it did at the end of the season, so there don’t appear to be many transfer requirements for the club.
Westerlo should be able to comfortably avoid the bottom four and find themselves in mid table by the end of the season. If they have any chance of top six, they will need the youngsters to really overperform. De Roeck is a great coach, and has had them playing some exciting football over the years he has been in charge. Definitely a side that neutrals should enjoy watching this season.