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Wolves signing this Belgium U21 powerhouse would solidify their defence massively in January

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Zinho Vanheusden

Why Wolves should reignite their interest in Zinho Vanheusden

Back in June, during the summer transfer window, Belgian outlet Het Belang van Limburg claimed that Wolves were interested in signing centre-back Zinho Vanheusden from Inter Milan. 

There was also interest in the 20-year-old’s services from Premier League rivals Southampton, while Bundesliga outfit Mainz were also lurking around the Belgian U-21 international, as per the same report

The youngster’s stocks had been soaring sky-high at that moment after his consistently impressive displays on his loan spell at Standard Liege over the course of the 2018-19 season and the Belgian outfit splashed a record fee to buy Vanheusden permanently from Inter. 

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Wolves never really followed up their interest in the highly-rated starlet and ended up spreading their nets elsewhere to bring in several up and coming prospects, including Patrick Cutrone, Bruno Jordao, Pedro Neto, Flavio Cristovao and Jesus Vallejo during the summer. 

Meanwhile, Zinho Vanheusden has enjoyed a solid start to the ongoing campaign in Belgium following a permanent move to his homeland earlier in the summer.

Having made a total of 31 appearances for Standard Liege during his loan stint last season, the centre-back has already hit the ground running with 6 appearances in all competitions this term. Including a couple in the group stages of the Europa League. 

Vanhuesden, who has been capped on 7 occasions by Belgium at the U-21 level, struggled to break into the first-team fold at the San Siro due to stiff competition for places but he has seized his opportunities with both hands in his homeland to remind everyone of his qualities. 

The towering 6ft.2-inch centre-back has caught the eye with his physicality and aerial ability, while also showcasing a level of maturity that belies his tender years, both in terms of composure and decision-making. 

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The 20-year-old, who is right up there with the most talented young defenders in Europe, is still in the formative years of his career but some serious improvement over the past twelve months is indicative of his massive potential. The Belgian prodigy is still very young for a centre-back but he has more than held his own in front of more established opposition. 

To put things into perspective, Wolves opted against firming up their interest in Zinho Vanheusden back in the summer but they should look to go back in the market for his services in January. 

The policy of bringing in talented youngsters and then polishing them into first-team regulars has been one of the hallmarks of Nuno Espirito Santo’s reign at Molineux and the acquisition of the 20-year-old Belgian centre-back would definitely be a step in the right direction when it comes to the club’s long-term plans moving forward. 

Wolves got off to a rather sluggish start to the ongoing campaign but they have turned things around in recent weeks, heading into the international break with three consecutive victories in all competitions, including a 2-0 humbling of Man City away from home in the Premier League. 

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They looked a tad shaky defensively but Nuno Santo will be pleased with how the players have responded after coming under criticism for some mediocre displays early in the campaign. Willy Boly has been the standout performer at the back, although the likes of Conor Coady and Ryan Bennett have struggled on occasions. 

Jesus Vallejo, who is on loan from Real Madrid hasn’t made much of an impact thus far, while Romain Saiss probably looks like a better fit in central midfield than central defence, meaning that Wolves can certainly afford to bring in a talented youngster like Zinho Vanheusden to challenge for a place in the team. 

The 20-year-old is hardly the finished article just yet and he would only play a bit-part role for now but given his potential, one would expect him to nail down a regular spot at the back in the years to come.

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Wolves have several defenders pushing for a call-up to the senior ranks from the academy setup but Vanheusden would be a real coup, nevertheless. 

All in all, Wolves reigniting interest in the Belgian would be yet another step in the right direction and one that could probably go on to pay rich dividends in the future.