As far as Zion Suzuki is concerned, him turning down that summer move to Premier League giants Manchester United was not so much a ‘goodbye’ and more a ‘see you later’.

Should the Red Devils come calling again somewhere down the line, the America-born Japan international may consider it the right time to sign on the dotted line. A move to Old Trafford this summer, in contrast, had Zion Suzuki fearing a classic case of ‘too much, too soon’, the prospect of sitting on the Manchester United bench behind new £47 million signing Andre Onana not exactly appealing to a player who had his heart set on regular, first-team football.

“Anyone can solve that puzzle, right? It’s too early for Man United now!” Suzuki tells Het Nieuwsblad.

“I now know from many Japanese predecessors that STVV is an ideal first step towards Europe. Later, I want to work in the Premier League.”

Suzuki joined Sint-Truiden on loan from Urawa Red Diamonds instead. And, after starting his third Jupiler League game in a row during Sunday’s 2-0 victory over KV Mechelen, this most modern of goalkeepers can probably consider his decision justified.

Urawa Red Diamonds v Yokohama F・Marinos - J.LEAGUE Meiji Yasuda J1
Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Manchester United missed out on Zion Suzuki

Suzuki wanted to play week-in, week-out. And he’s doing just that in his new Belgian home; a European push not out of the question either, Sint-Triuden up to seventh after he inspired that Mechelen win with a remarkably well-rounded performance between the sticks.

“Zion is now our first-choice goalkeeper. He is considered one of the greatest talents in the world at his position, and we need to polish him,” Sint-Truiden coach Thorsten Fink says of his rough diamond, via Walfoot.

“In the first half, our goalkeeper makes a good save. The match looks completely different if he doesn’t grab the ball.”

Suzuki, according to Football Wonderkids on the platform formerly known as Twitter, made no fewer than seven saves on Sunday. He also won both of his aerial duels, and claimed four crosses into the penalty area. Much was made of Suzuki’s remarkable passing range when Manchester United expressed their interest – the player himself idolises arguably the world’s best ball-playing glovesman in Ederson – but he is proving in Belgium that there is far more to his game than inch-perfect pings out to his full-backs.

‘One of the greatest talents in the world’

“Zion chose STVV because he could achieve the status of first goalkeeper,” Fink adds (Voetbal Belgie).

“We keep those promises. He is still young and will make mistakes every now and then. However, everyone sees that he has a lot of talent.

“That’s why he could have gone to Manchester United.”

Related Topics