Lithuanian international and former Monaco youth prospect coming of age at Cercle Brugge

Over the past few matches, Cercle Brugge’s Lithuanian defender Edgaras Utkus has emerged as one of their key defenders. The 23-year-old, who signed for the club from Monaco back in the summer of 2021, has now made over 50 appearances for the club. This season he has started 21 of the 26 league matches he has played, scoring one goal and providing two assists. Yet it is at the other end where he has been most effective.

Against Club Brugge this weekend Utkus was once again fantastic. He won eight of his nine attempted tackles, 50% of his aerial duels and 83% of his ground duels. He also provided four clearances, a crucial contribution as the side were under a lot of pressure from Club Brugge when they were searching for an equaliser.

The man from Vilnius remains under contract with Cercle until 2026, and it was clearly shrewd management once again from the club to extend his contract last April. Transfermarkt currently values the defender at around €1.2m, but if he continues to perform as well as he has over past weeks that will surely begin to rise.

Utkus is not the only young talent emerging from the Baltic country. In Serie A, Gvidas Gineitis has made a few appearances off the bench for Torino at the age of just 19. The success of both players in higher levels of European club football could certainly help increase the interest in talent from Lithuania going forward.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

More European Football News