Club Brugge

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Season Guide
2022/2023

Club Brugge

In


Bjorn Meijer (def), Groningen), Cyle Larin (att), Bestiktas), Ferran Jutglà (mid), Barcelona)

Out


Bas Dost (sp)(att), Utrecht), Matej Mitrovic (sp)(att), Rijeka), Faitout Maouassa (sp)(def), Montpellier), José Izquierdo (sp)(att), Sargis Adamyan (sp)(att), Hoffenheim - end of loan)

Club Brugge continued their domination in the domestic scene last season as they made it five titles in the last seven seasons after that late push to finish just above Union Saint Gilloise, having been 12 points off the top spot in February. The title was a testament to both the great winning mentality and experience in the squad and the ability of Alfred Schreuder to mould a team on the fly that developed into a winning machine after a few early stumbles. However, the Dutchman's stays with Brugge proved short-lived as he announced immediately after winning the title that he is heading back to former club Ajax to replace Erik ten Hag. Now Carl Hoefkens, who was assistant to both Philippe Clement and Schreuder, assumes the role of a first-team manager and it does feel like this will be a transition season for the defending champions. They look set to cash in on their two most prized assets in Noa Lang and Charles De Ketelaere, even if no move has materialised yet, and it will take a while for their impact and goals to be replaced. Cyle Larin is expected to be the new main striker and he should bag a few goals at this level but the other new signings hardly seem like nailed-on starters, On the other hand, players like Andreas Skov Olsen and Tajon Buchanan are expected to be even more integral in the first-team squad after joining in the winter and having good impact. Thus, Brugge still look like a really strong contender but they are set to face really stiff competition from Gent and Anderlecht this season and may not find the route to the title that simple.

Target


Will again be in the mix for the title but may well not be the best side this season.

Season Review
2020/2021

Champions: Club Brugge

Club Brugge kicked the season off as the prohibitive title favourites and while they looked pretty impressive in some games, a few losses here and there in the opening few weeks, especially at home to Charleroi and Beerschot, raised concerns as to whether this team is not a bit too complacent. Philippe Clement soon dispelled such notions about the Black and Blue as they began to impose themselves on rivals as the autumn months came, with a couple of five-game winning streaks seeking the team rise to the top of the standings. Yet, the issue with the lack of a reliable goalscorer started to get bigger and the team relied too often on wing players and attacking midfielders to come up with the goals. The big plus for Clement was the emergence of the solitary summer signing, Noa Lang, as a true game changer from both wings. The former Ajax player may have just arrived in early October but began to chip in with goals and show real character and dynamism pretty quickly, taking the mantle as the chief creator and goal threat. As for the European adventures, Brugge went ever so close to getting into the last-16 of the Champions League as they just missed out on a win at Lazio on the final match day. The start of the 2021 saw Brugge find their most devastating form, coinciding with the arrival of a true number 9 in Bas Dost. The wins started becoming a formality, getting ten in a row to open up a gigantic lead over Genk at the summit. But just when things looked to be really peaking, an unfortunate COVID outbreak decimated the squad by the time they faced Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League last-32. The team still remained competitive in both ties but an agonising 2:1 aggregate loss ended the hopes of a deep European run. It also cost them in the Cup in a narrow loss to Standard while the league form started to fluctuate a bit after losing to Antwerp and Anderlecht in the final few rounds. The play-offs were a mixed bag too and Brugge actually made a real hard work of sealing the title despite their huge cushion. Nevertheless, a win over Antwerp and a draw at Anderlecht proved enough to get them over the line and secure a second consecutive title for the most complete team in the country, which at times hit some impressive heights over the course of the campaign. That said, Clement faces a real challenge to keep this squad motivated and may have to do a more serious rebuilding job in the summer.


Player of the Season: Noa Lang

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