1. FC Union Berlin are strengthening their Bundesliga squad for the second half of the 2023/24 season with the addition of attacking force Yorbe Vertessen. The 23-year-old comes to Köpenick from PSV Eindhoven.
An early jump abroad
After Vertessen took his first steps as a budding professional footballer at Belgian clubs FC Rillaar Sport and KVC Westerlo, he was brought to PSV Eindhoven's youth academy at the age of eight. There, the right-footer passed through all the youth departments and by the time he was playing for the U17s his decision had been entirely justified; his 25 goals in 29 games helping him and the club win the Dutch B-Junior Championship in 2018. His 13 goals for the U19s also helped them win the championship. In the summer of 2019, the current Belgium U21 international was then promoted to the second team of the current Eredivisie leaders, where he also impressed and became increasingly part of the first team from 2020/21. By the end of that season, he had made 15 appearances in the domestic league and two appearances in the UEFA Europa League, paving the way for a permanent place in the senior team.
Although the winger was not yet a regular, he continued to impress with 14 goals in 43 appearances and took part in a total of six competitions with his team. In addition to match practice in national competitions such as the Eredivisie, the KNVB Beker (the Cup) and the Super Cup, Vertessen also gained further experience under coach Roger Schmidt on the European stage, from UEFA Champions League qualification to the Europa League and the Conference League.
Despite his personal success in his first full professional season, his minutes declined again and a year ago he was loaned to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium for the second half of the season. Less than a month after his arrival in Brussels, Vertessen and his new club faced Union in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League where he impressed with a goal and an assist in the 3-3 draw at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Even without his involvement in the second leg, the Belgian side ultimately came out on top and progressed to the next round of the competition, where they were ultimately eliminated by Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
After his return to PSV, Yorbe was part of the team that has only lost one competitive match this season (4-0 away against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League).
Three facts about Yorbe:
- Yorbe has only received five yellow cards in his career so far.
- With four goals, he was top scorer at the 2018 U17 European Championship.
- Yorbe once had to play in goal in a youth tournament after his goalkeeper was sent off and even saved a penalty.
The views on the deal
"The Bundesliga is special and so are Union,” said an overjoyed Vertessen on his move to Berlin. “Every player in the Netherlands knows that. I'm all the happier now that I'm here and can hopefully help the team and the club to make up for the difficult last few months. I'm looking forward to meeting my new colleagues, and seeing the stadium and the fans. When we played here last year, the atmosphere was unique."
"In Yorbe, we are getting a player who has enjoyed an excellent education in Eindhoven," said Union's director of men's professional football, Oliver Ruhnert, on the move. "He has already gained a lot of experience, which will be an advantage for him and us in the second half of the season. We are delighted that he has decided in favour of us despite having many options."