Union St Gilloise the catalyst for Deniz Undav’s road to Euro 2024

Julian Nagelsmann has announced the preliminary German squad ahead of Euro 2024 this summer. Last year, if someone had said that Deniz Undav would be part of the squad over the likes of Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry, not many would have believed them. Yet, after an incredible season on loan at Stuttgart, Undaz has made it into the squad. In 32 games this season he has scored 19 goals for the club while on loan from Brighton.

Yet, his rise to the Bundesliga and the German national team would not have been possible without Union St Gilloise. In the summer of 2020 the club brought him over from then German 3 Liga side SV Meppen. During two season with Meppen Undav had shown promise, scoring 23 goals in 69 games. Not many would have predicted that in just two seasons he would be signed by a Premier League side.

Undav’s partnership with Dante Vanzeir helped Union return to the top flight of Belgian football as they blitzed the second tier. Undav grabbed 17 goals in the league that season in just 26 games. Despite having only gained promotion the previous season, Union then mounted a title charge during the 2021/2022 campaign, with Undaz at the heart of it. The striker grabbed 26 goals in just 39 games and earned a move to Brighton during the January transfer window, being loaned back to Brussels for the rest of the season. While Union were unable to lift the title that year, Undav’s rise from German third tier to title challenging in the Belgian top flight had been helped by the Brussels side realising the talent that was there.

Unfortunately, his move to Brighton did not turn into the success that many hoped it would be, with five Premier League goals in 22 games. Stuttgart were the beneficiaries this season as Undav looked the player he had been during his time in Belgium. There is still plenty of love for Undav at Union and they will undoubtedly be proud of him for being on the cusp of representing Germany in their home tournament.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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