Zion Suzuki has admitted that his desire to play regular first-team football was behind his decision to turn down a move to Premier League giants Manchester United in favour of Belgian outfit Sint Truiden.

If the Japan international can make an impact on Belgian soil like that of Kaoru Mitoma – so impressive at Union Saint Gilloise before taking English football by storm in the blue-and-white of Brighton – who is to say Zion Suzuki will not end up in the Premier League anyway, his decision to turn down a move to Old Trafford merely a case of delaying the potential inevitable?

The Arkansas-born glovesman turned down Manchester United, after Erik ten Hag’s side agreed a fee in the region of £5 million.

Japan U-24 v Jamaica - International Friendly
Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Manchester United miss out on Zion Suzuki

“It is true that there was an offer from Manchester United,” Suzuki says, via Goal

“Of course, I would like to go to Manchester United. But I really want to spend time thinking about what kind of future awaits me. After much thought, I made this decision (to go to Belgium instead).” 

Suzuki, of course, would likely have operated as a back-up option for the Red Devils.

He plays down suggestions that his decision was due to his desire to play in the Paris Olympics in 2024, however; insisting that the prospect of regular first-team football was the driving force behind his decision.

A new goalkeeper may still be required

“Right now, while I haven’t been able to play in Japan, Manchester United have signed (Andre) Onana,” Suzuki adds.

“I’ve seen some reports say that I’m moving for the Paris Olympics. But that’s a different story. It’s not like I’m transferring because of the Paris Olympics.

“I’m aiming for the first-team. I’m aiming for the World Cup and, after that, I’m aiming to be the best in the world.

“The (Belgian) league is of a very high level.”

With Dean Henderson potentially departing for Nottingham Forest, and with Matej Kovar a target for Aston Villa, Man United could still bring in another goalkeeper before September 1st; Fenerbahce’s Altay Bayindir an option.

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