Arthur Vermeeren GFX

Arthur Vermeeren: The Declan Rice regen linked with Arsenal, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund

In October 2022, Antwerp had no choice but to release Radja Nainggolan. The former Belgium midfielder was supposed to be a stalwart for the storied club, but it all went wrong in his home country. First, Nainggolan was arrested for driving with an expired licence. Then, a week later, he was caught smoking an e-cigarette on the bench.

With the 34-year-old forced out, and injuries elsewhere, Antwerp had no choice but to turn to their bench. Youngster Arthur Vermeeren was the one to ultimately fill the void.

Then still short of his 18th birthday, Vermeeren impressed immensely. Nine months later, he is one of the club's most important players - and being hailed as a future star.

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But who exactly is Vermeeren, and why are Arsenal, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund after him? GOAL takes a look at one of Europe's most promising defensive midfielders...