Malaysia are interested in Belgian-Malaysian defender Dion ‘Johan’ Cools, according to reports.
The 21-year old was named by his parents after former football greats Dion Dublin and Johan Cruyff. The national coach NeloVingada has offered the player the opportunity to play for their national side.
Cools features currently for Club Brugge KV where he lines as a defender for the Belgian multiple time league winners. He has a mature profile at Club Brugge where he featured in 30 games last term. He has Champions League experience as well as Malaysia want him.
However, Cools has featured in various youth levels for Belgium. He was in the Under 22 Belgium Young Players’ Team of the Season last term.
Vngada said he has contacted the player and hoping he agrees to the request. The coach says he and his team have been investigating players that are eligible for Malaysian passport in a bid to boost the player pool for the national team.
“Cools is among those we are looking at. We are not sure whether he is keen to play for Malaysia but there is no harm in trying. He is only 21 and plays for Club Brugge, which is a top club in Belgium. If you look around the world, there are many players like this. Deco and Pepe are Brazilians but they play for Portugal,” Vingada said.
Vingada added that he is checking the progress made by heritage players that were granted Malaysian citizenships and are now playing in the M-League. The coach said the Australian-born Matthew Davies in the squad but that he injured himself before the start of the Asian Cup game in Lebanon. He is also considering players in the league that naturalized even though he would require clearances from the Asian Football Confederations.