Player profile: Who is Alexis Saelemaekers?

AC Milan have signed Alexis Saelemaekers from Anderlecht, a Belgian talent with potential to become a top player in the future.

If the Nerazzurri side of Milan, from Nainggolan to Lukaku, has become for some years one of the reference points of Belgian football, AC Milan have just signed a Belgian footballer after 35 years. The new Rossoneri player, although not very simple to pronounce, comes directly from Anderlecht and is called Alexis Saelemaekers.

Suso out, Saelemaekers in. That was AC Milan’s biggest move on the winter market. While everyone expected the Spaniard to leave few could have imagined that a relatively unknown 20-year-old Belgium midfielder would take his place.

AC Milan signed Alexis Saelemaekers on loan from Anderlecht for €3.5 million. The Rossoneri have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season for another 3.5 million plus 1 million in bonuses bringing the total fee to 8 million. While Saelemaekers’ name is unknown to the fans, the Rossoneri scout had been following him for one year before sanctioning a move.

The young Belgian has come through the ranks at Anderlecht, playing for the club from youth level for the U-17s, U-19s through to the senior squad. Saelemaekers has made a total of 64 appearances with Anderlecht, scoring 2 goals and providing 11 assists.

The 10 times capped Belgium U-21 international started has career as a right back slowly advancing in the role of right midfielder. The new AC Milan signing is considered a very polyvalent footballer and can easily play as attacking midfielder. Versatility, speed and dribbling are the main characteristics of Saelemaekers.

But is he a good fit for AC Milan? The short answer is yes and it could be a move that could pay big in the future. He’s normally the type of player that joins Atalanta and later completes a 30 million plus transfer to a top club. Considering his potential, also thanks to the chaos that surrounds Anderlecht these days, AC Milan could have just secured one of the most exciting talents of Belgian football. He arrives as the alternative to Castillejo but soon he may become the regular starter on the right.

READ MORE: AC Milan close the January window with 11 transfers