Dutch international Noa Lang said he ‘made Belgian football hot’ and was destined for Real Madrid three years after being told to ‘shut up’ by an ‘angry’ Erik ten Hag .
The 22-year-old winger is in the Dutch squad for their final Nations League games, having recently revealed he was the subject of interest from Arsenal and Leeds.
The Club Brugge star had shone in a Champions League group containing Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the season, earning links with Liverpool and AC Milan.
Reports in Italy claim he is now certain to join the latter, after he himself revealed that Arsenal tried to sign him as a replacement for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Leeds have made three offers for his services.
Lang could feature in the Netherlands game against Wales after being ruled out against Belgium, but he is already making a name for himself in the press with some daring comments.
Speaking about his impending departure from Brugge, he said: “I made Belgian football hot. I sincerely mean that. Children aged six to seven now know Club Brugge.
“In the Netherlands people suddenly look at your competition. It wasn’t before I played at the Club [Brugge].
“Believe me: I will miss Belgium when I am gone. I colored your football.
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“Next season you will pray that there is a Noa Lang walking around in Belgium, who can also play football. Only…. you will hardly find him.
“No, seriously, my successor is already ready with [17-year-old Antonio] Nuse. I sometimes tell him jokingly: ‘You are the only one who can wear number 10 after me’. Because I don’t know if others will be able to handle this. They have big shoes to fill.
“I am an animator. People come to the stadium for guys like me. And this finger on my mouth [celebration] kind of became my signature, because I know what it does to people. I like that feeling too.
“[I’m] the one who plays the Champions League and reaches the top. I’m 22 and have all the time.
“I don’t need to go to Real Madrid right away, this stage is incredibly big. First I want to perform well elsewhere and then sign like a big boy at the absolute top of the world. I will get there, I I’m convinced of that. I can’t deny that Milan are interested.
Some bold statements indeed, but one club Lang certainly won’t be making anytime soon is Manchester United, due to his relationship with new manager Ten Hag.
The Dutch-born star broke through against Amsterdam giants Ajax, scoring four goals in 14 games.
Those numbers might sound good for what was an emerging teenager, but they weren’t good enough for Ten Hag, who once gave Lang a humiliating public disguise.
In a 4-3 Dutch Cup win over Telstar in 2019 in which Lang scored his first goal, Ten Hag tackled the tricky winger, his words caught on camera.
“Noah! You must run deep! Ten Hag was seen screaming before getting a response.
“You have to shut up, you have to listen, you just need to.
The new United boss was again interrupted and said: “No! Cut it, it’s our game not yours.
Lang was loaned out to FC Twente a month later during the January transfer window, before being sold to Brugge in 2021.
He later opened up about his relationship with Ten Hag, saying he never wanted to talk to her again.
“It’s clear that things weren’t right between the coach and me,” explained the Dutchman.
“Everyone loved me at Ajax except one person.
“A lot of people think that I’m a funny and happy little guy who can also play football well. However, not everyone could do with that. At the time I indicated that a transfer would be better, I didn’t was more in the coach’s plans.
“I wanted to be loaned out, but he was so angry that he wanted to sell me. Not the management, but the trainer succeeded.
“No, I never spoke to him again and I don’t want to. A new chapter has begun and I will make it a success.
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