To get to know Aster Vranckx better, the Milannews.it editorial team contacted Sofiane Bouzian, his former teammate at the time of KV Mechelen, exclusively. Here are his words:
Sofiane, can you tell us the best qualities of your friend and former partner at the time of KV Mechelen Aster Vranckx?
“First of all, Aster is very robust physically and always has been, even when he was very young. He comes from a boxing family and despite the fact that he didn’t go to the gym often he had a physical overwhelming power that allowed him to get the better of everyone in training. He was young (16 years ed) but physically he was ready and never pulled back in duels “.
Does this mean that it also has a lot of personality?
“That’s right Vranckx on the pitch is not afraid of anything, he’s not joking. But on the outside he’s a quiet guy who likes to joke around. There is a true friendship between us, we weren’t just teammates. I had been following him since the youth academy and as soon as he landed in the first team we tied up immediately. Being two years younger than me, I immediately took him under my wing, giving him lots of advice on what to do. And I immediately realized that Aster is not at all arrogant and that he listened when someone gave him advice. He is essentially a hard worker who is on and off the pitch to reach the top. “
On the pitch is he a little pit bull like Rino Gattuso then?
“Yes, it’s a comparison that fits. If there is a ball to be recovered, my friend always takes a lot of grit. Even if this sometimes involves the risk of hurting the opponent “.
For those unfamiliar with him, is Aster more of a defensive or an attacking midfielder?
“At the beginning he was a midfield winger with defensive duties who destroyed the opponent’s football. But over the years he has added dribbling and racing in the opposing penalty area to his repertoire. Al Mechelen has improved a lot technically and he himself prefers to lean forward because he knows how to score. “
Many have compared him to compatriot Axel Witsel, former AC Milan goal in 2015 …
“I fully agree, he is very similar to Axel Witsel even though the Atletico Madrid player is more of a defensive midfielder who dictates the game with his passes. But knowing, I know that Aster would rather be a Tielemans than a Witsel on the pitch. At the beginning of his career Vranckx looked a lot like Witsel but over time he got very close to Tielemans thanks to his excellent technique, even if Youri does not recover balls while he does. On reflection, I think it’s a perfect mix between Axel and the Leicester player. But more complete than both. If he were to go to Milan he will bring dribbling, decisive assists and a pinch of madness like shooting at goal from the edge. ”
Will he also make way for the national team? Perhaps together with the new idol of the Rossoneri fans Charles de Ketelaere could become a pillar of the Belgium to come?
“Of course. I have no doubt that he will become a key player also from a national perspective in the coming years. He is still very young but if he goes to Milan in a year he will also be able to establish himself in Belgium and become a world-class player. ”
As fate would have it, on 9 August 2019, the birthday of a Rossoneri legend like Pippo Inzaghi, you both made your Jupiler Pro League debut in an Anderlecht-Mechelen in Brussels. Which of you two was the most nervous that day? Vranckx entered the field in the 38th minute of the first half, seven minutes later …
“Frankly none of us were (laughs). Aster, however, expected to enter the field, being a midfielder. While for me it was a surprise. But on the pitch he gave me the impression of being very calm and not at all nervous. And it was the same for myself. After the match (ended 0-0 ed) we were both very happy “.
Tactically, however, Serie A is not the Bundesliga. It’s ready?
“We all know Serie A, which is a very technical and tactical league. Maybe it will take some time to adapt because the Italian league is completely different from the German one but I am sure that over time it will also be valid for you. Also because as I said before he is a very easygoing guy who listens to the advice given to him to grow… ”.
In Germany, however, he was not an immovable starter and with Niko Kovac at Wolfsburg the spark never struck …
“It is true that he was not an immovable owner and that things did not go as he expected. However, despite everything, Aster last year carved out some space for himself at Wolfsburg which is not bad at all for a young man like him. And in Germany he also got to play in the Champions League, so we can say that he has grown. But to reach other levels he has to play regularly and he is smart enough to realize it. Now you are looking for a new challenge and if, as I have heard, he will go to Milan it would be great. ”
Is Vranckx Flemish or Walloon?
“He is Flemish but also speaks French very well and therefore will have no problem communicating with both De Kertelaere in Dutch and with Saelemakers in French. And then they have known each other since the time of the national youth teams. The fact that there is a strong Belgian presence at Milan can only help him… ”.