It’s always good to see a quality Championship Manager signing realising his virtual promise in reality and in this Belgian powerhouse, we’ve probably seen the most impressive young talent ever to emerge from the famed youth academy at Anderlecht.
His breakthrough at 17 was the start of a meteoric rise to the top. Anderlecht club president Roger Vanden Stock was rumoured to have earmarked the youngster for a new 20-year contract after his debut season kept influential captain Glen De Boeck on the sidelines.
Belgium made him their youngest full international ever when they selected him at the tender age of 17 years and 17 months against France in 2004. It seems like he’s been around forever since then.
A €10 million move to Hamburg SV after three full seasons at Anderlecht brought about the only stagnant spell of his career. A combination of fall-outs and injuries limited him to just 29 appearances over almost two years in Germany. His next move would be vital and he made no mistakes.
Signing for Manchester City in August of 2008 for a reported £6 million (he’s probably worth six times that now) was a master-stroke. Mark Hughes was City boss at the time and described him as: “One of the most outstanding talents in Europe. He understands the ambition of the club. He understands where we want to take the club.” He couldn’t have put it any better.
Quickly, he became club captain and continued to excel despite huge change at the top and bottom of the club. Perhaps what speaks volumes of the player is that he was signed for next to nothing when you consider the money City have spent in assembling their title-winning squad.
He might not be the most technically astute, but in Vincent Kompany you have a player who can lead from the back, set the tone, inspire his team-mates and strike fear in to even the most fearless of opponents. He is the classic old-school defender every team needs and that’s why you chose Vincent Kompany as the first centre-half in your #TalkingXI.
Here’s some of the experts and voters telling us why:
“Vinny, as Roberto Mancini calls him, is built like a champion boxer, speedy, with a keen brain, iron will and ideal temperament.” – Sheridan Bird, Champions, World Soccer Magazine, UEFA.com and others. @SheridanBird
“Kompany has everything a centre-back needs. Strength, leadership, compsure and reading of the game.” – Joe McKelvie, @crazylegsjoe
“One of the best defenders around. Can read the game, a great tackler and can play a bit as well. Also a great leader.” – Craig Scott, @CraigScott