Branco van den Boomen, the patient Dutchman


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The pink city changes a man. A picture ? Branco van den Boomen. Arrived as a complete stranger (or almost) two and a half years ago, the Dutch midfielder has made more than a name for himself on the banks of the Garonne, even becoming the centerpiece of Téfécé. His latest score at the Parc des Princes is a perfect example. With the stick despite an unfavorable context, the native of Eindhoven knew how to orient the game of his team so that it did not take on water against the Parisian ogre. The icing on the cake, he even scored a sublime free kick (helped by the passivity of Donnarumma), allowing his team to lead on the lawn of the Ligue 1 leader.

Five-star performances, which “VDB” continues over the days. You only have to look at his statistics to understand the importance of the 27-year-old player in Philippe Montanier’s squad. The 88-metre right-hander has already scored five goals and seven assists in 22 league games. He is also fourth in the ranking of the best passers in L1. If all of his goals were scored from set pieces (four from penalties and one from a free kick), that does not say anything about his influence in the area of ​​truth. The number 8 of the TFC is in second place in the hierarchy of players who make the most key passes (60) just behind Franck Honorat (61).

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“It’s our Juninho”

A quality on set pieces and accuracy in passing, which reminds his mentor of a legend of the French championship. “It’s our Juninho”, admitted Montanier last year after his foal’s fabulous season in the second division. Van den Boomen had then flown over the Ligue 2 championship by scoring 12 goals and delivering 20 assists, at the same time winning the UNFP title of best player of the season. A plenitude on the side of France, which he has not always known in his native country. If the Dutchman was trained at the right school with Ajax Amsterdam, his professional career in the Netherlands is not the most brilliant.

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In total, the Batavian have known five Dutch clubs but have only played 31 games in the Eredivisie. His career, Branco forged it in Keuken Kampioen Divisie by playing 152 games and scoring 27 goals. Before being spotted at the age of 25 by Toulouse and having his first experience abroad. “The first thing is that I wanted to leave Holland to have a new experience, discover a new culture and another way of playing”he confessed to the newspaper Dispatch from the South last January. “The second argument is the Toulouse project and the game they wanted to put in place. It was very attractive: to score a lot of goals and try to win the championship. It suited my style of play well, I think. These are the two main points that explain my arrival. »

End of the adventure with the TFC… or not?

Since then, Van den Boomen has conquered the hearts of Toulouse in three seasons, but also that of the leaders of the TFC. So much so that they now tremble at the thought of losing the major asset of their system. His contract expiring in June 2023, Van den Boomen does not rule out a new start in his life, especially when he was told about a possible transfer to Galatasaray. “It would be good, I feel the interest of the supporters”he told the Turkish media Hurriyet a few weeks ago. “There is no official offer yet. (…) However, Galatasaray is a big club. Every football player aims to evolve in such an important club. »

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A real desire to see elsewhere or just a stroke of pressure on the Toulouse management? The second hypothesis seems plausible, according to the words of President Damien Comolli. “Branco told me he wanted to extend, we will do everything to keep him”he explained at a press conference a few days after the end of the winter transfer window. “I had an extraordinary discussion with him, he is extremely attached to the city, to the club, to his teammates”. At the beginning of December 2022, the boss of Téfécé had however explained that “the salary demanded by his agent is unattainable”.

France or abroad? Final answer next June. In the meantime, the Toulouse maestro remains focused on his 2022-2023 exercise so far without fail. Prowess that could allow him to aim for another unimaginable goal a few years ago: the national team. “Dreaming is always allowed, but I don’t really count on it”he insisted on Monday in an interview with ESPN. “Players who do well abroad are always watched, so hopefully I can keep it that way. You never know what could happen. » To hope one day to wear the orange tunic, Van den Boomen knows what to expect: to continue his life in pink near Toulouse.

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