What is good comes quickly. And in the case of Julien Duranville, lightning fast. With his 16 years and 17 days, the top talent was the third youngest debutant ever for Anderlecht yesterday. Everyone at Neerpede predicts a golden future for him: “What Julien showed against Club in ten minutes, we have seen for years.”

It was a closing day for the statistics. But how often will 22 May 2022 be entered in the image archives later?

Julien Duranville made his debut for Anderlecht on Jan Breydel.

The 16-year-old winger immediately created a new dynamic with some actions that showed guts and class. It showed parallels with Romelu Lukaku, when he played his first minutes for the Purple & White in 2009 with just as much bravado.

“Really, I immediately had to think back to Romelu’s debut”, laughs Jean Kindermans, head of the Anderlecht youth. “Yesterday Julien immediately handed over his business card.”

The Lightning

At Neerpede they have known the nobility letters of Duranville, since he was seven at Anderlecht, for much longer. It was no coincidence that the rough diamond took a prominent role in the documentary “Mauve” last season when it came to the up-and-coming generation.

CEO Peter Verbeke then spoke full of praise for Duranville: “An absolute top talent”, it sounded without batting an eyelid. “Julien passed physical tests that were unseen. And he also combines that with phenomenal technique.”

Duranville proved to Club why he never stole his nickname “L’Eclair” – translated: lightning. Odoi and Ricca, among others, saw the winger whiz past like a moped.

Keeping Julien at Anderlecht required a lot of energy. But if you saw him in action yesterday, you know it was worth it.

Jean Kindermans

“His speed and explosiveness are improbable,” agrees Kindermans. “In addition, he is strong one-on-one and bipedal. What Julien showed against Club in ten minutes, we have seen for years.”

And therefore also scouts from many foreign top clubs. Despite the enormous interest, the Purple & White managed to bind Duranville with a contract until 2024.

“That took a lot of energy. But if you saw Julien in action yesterday, you know it was worth it.”

Julien Duranville next to Jean Kindermans.

Compared to Doku and Mbappé

The breakthrough should come in full next season.

Kindermans would not even be shocked that Duranville immediately gets his chance in the A-core instead of in 1B with the promises.

“Guys like Lukaku, Tielemans and Doku also skipped that step,” said the talent kneader. “And I know that trainers like to have such players in their core to make a difference when coming on. Although we have to make sure that Julien plays full matches.”

It’s someone with so much personality that he just wants to be Julien Duranville.

Jean Kindermans

Nevertheless, Kindermans makes one important comment. “Julien is a boy of the corona period. As a result, he has not played and trained for almost a year and a half. As a result, there is a greater risk of injuries or overload, but we follow such matters very closely.”

And so fans of Anderlecht can get ready to see lightning more often in the Lotto Park next season.

“Julien has everything to become a crowd favorite”, Kindermans muses. “He will go after Jérémy Doku. Although Julien doesn’t like such comparisons – in childhood it was usually Kylian Mbappe. He’s someone with so much personality that he just wants to be Julien Duranville.”

You better remember the name.


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