Following their dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Ludogorets in the Conference League, Anderlecht head coach Brian Riemer was full of praise for Yari Verschaeren. The 21-year-old Belgian midfielder scored in the 68th minute and also put the decisive penalty away to secure Anderlecht’s passage to the next round.
Speaking on Verschaeren in the post-match press conference, Riemer compared the young midfielder to Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric. As reported by Voetbalkrant, the Danish coach said ‘Yari is incredible. He reminds me a bit of Luka Modric. Technically so good, so many qualities… He also wants to win so hard and he just keeps going. After 90 minutes he is still chasing opponents like in the first minute. He did so well today’.
It is coming up to almost five years since Verschaeren, then a teenager, made his debut for Anderlecht. He has been seen as one of the top talents who could emerge from Belgium football for a number of years now, but injuries and a lack of consistency has hampered his development. Under Riemer, it appears that the youngster is starting to regain confidence in his abilities and it is showing in his performances. Against Ludogorets he was the best player on the pitch.
Anderlecht were also indebted to 20-year-old goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, who saved all three of the Bulgarian champions penalties during the shoot-out.