HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) cleared the rumours linking JDT to the signing of fullback Dion Cools from Belgium club, Club Brugge. The latter was thought to be unsettled in recent months and was eyeing a move away from the Jupiler Pro League to seek more playing opportunities.
TMJ also shared that in his discussions with Cools, the impression that he got from the 23-year-old was that he would prefer to continue his footballing education in Europe. A notion which the Regent of Johor agrees with but at the same time is confident is a time should come for Cools to move to Malaysia, there will only be one destination for him.
"Dion Cools is still young and he wants to play at the highest level. I agree with him and support the idea. So that one day if he wants to play for the country, he can. Right now he plays for Belgium and they are involved in the World Cup as well as for a big club. Maybe after this he will be loaned to other clubs in Europe.
"After meeting with him and a few discussions with him, I'm confident that if he wants to come here and play in Malaysia, there's only one club for him which is JDT," said Tunku Ismail.
Bursting into the scenes back in 2015, Cools have found opportunities more limited than when he was a 19-year-old. While he did feature for Brugge in their UEFA Champions League clash at Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid, it was only for a mere three minutes.
An underage international with Belgium U21, Cools can also qualify to play for Malaysia because he hasn't appeared for the senior team yet as well as the fact that his mother is a Malaysian. Given that he has time on his side, it would be a big waste should Cools not give his European adventure a few more years and see where it takes him.
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