Everton product Fraser Hornby is hoping to replicate Christian Benteke’s route to the top in Belgium, after revealing what inspired his decision to join KV Kortrijk on loan for the season, as quoted by The Times.
Hornby was yet to add to his only senior Everton appearance before joining the Belgian Jupiler Pro League side on a one-season deal (TransferMarkt), with his senior Toffees debut coming against Apollon Limassol in the Europa League in 2017.
Hornby has addressed his decision to seek first-team football while on international duty with Scotland’s Under 21s, for whom he hopes to represent on Tuesday night when they face Croatia, having been forced to watch on through injury as Scot Gemmill’s side beat San Marino last Thursday.
The last time the 19-year-old wore his country’s colours in a competitive scenario saw Hornby net five goals in as many days, as he struck a hat-trick against Andorra and a brace away to the Netherlands.
Hornby has now taken it upon himself to test himself in a new country, as the Northampton-born striker was inspired by Jadon Sancho’s success after leaving Manchester City’s youth ranks for Borussia Dortmund.
“You see a lot of young British players going abroad now,” Hornby said. “There’s an opportunity to make it in one of these big leagues abroad that you maybe wouldn’t get in the Premier League in England. I moved away from home at 14 to go to Everton. Some people would be put off by moving away to a different country. For me that wasn’t a problem; I was always open to it.
“You look at Jadon Sancho, he’s probably done the best of the lads who have gone abroad. But I think it’s about getting that opportunity. He didn’t feel he’d get that at Manchester City and he felt he was ready to make that step.”
Hornby went on to add that Benteke’s rise from Belgium to the Premier League helped to convince the youngster that his decision to join Kortrijk on loan was the right one.
“I did my research on them,” he said. “I looked at certain players who’d been there before, like Christian Benteke. When I went there nothing was a shock. The intensity of training was very high which is what I’m used to at Everton. It’s refreshing for me to go into that environment.”
Crystal Palace striker Benteke began his career in Standard Liege and KRC Genk’s academies, but it was a loan spell with Kortrijk which spring boarded his professional career, netting 16 goals in 37 games across all competitions (TransferMarkt).
He would go on to represent Standard Liege in Champions League qualifying games and Genk in the Europa League before joining Aston Villa in 2012, where he hit 27 goals in 47 games in his debut campaign in England.
Hornby would surely not be expected to replicate the same instant success in the Premier League with Everton come his return from Kortrijk next summer, but if the teenager can use his time in Belgium to also spring board his career, he and Everton will certainly benefit from it.
Another loan spell away from Merseyside for 2020/21 could also be on the cards, too, given his age, but Hornby’s move now could be the one that takes him higher up the football pyramid, ready to make a mark at Goodison Park in the coming years.
Everton fans, does Hornby’s reasoning offer you any confidence that he can make it to the top? Let us know in the comments below…
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