Middlesbrough have had a whopping turnover of players in the last decade.
Part of the reason for that was the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2016 and then the subsequent relegation that followed. It’s nothing new that clubs in that situation to make wholesale changes in personnel.
Faris Haroun, though, was someone that arrived at the Riverside Stadium prior to that promotion. In fact, it is just over 10 years ago since Tony Mowbray clinched the deal to bring the Belgium international to the North East after a successful trial.
The Belgian made 56 appearances for Boro in the Championship, scoring a goal on his debut against Birmingham City. That was the first of six goals for the club, whilst he also featured a further six times in the League Cup for the Teessiders.
However, by the time 2013/14 came, Mowbray was on his way out and Aitor Karanka was arriving. The catalyst for the promotion that was on the horizon.
Haroun was a casualty in the winter of 2013/14, leaving Boro and linking up with Blackpool, who he mustered nine appearances for.
Cercle Brugge would be Haroun’s next destination, passing through the club between 2014 and 2017.
Eventually, Haroun made his move to Royal Antwerp, where he remains on the books and part of the captaincy group at the age of 36.
Haroun has made 128 appearances for Antwerp since arriving at the club, scoring nine times and, on the whole, impressing in the Belgian top-flight and featuring in Europe.
Last season, Antwerp finished second to Club Brugge at the end of the regular season, entering the play-offs to secure a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds in 2021/22.
Antwerp have managed to progress past Omonia Nicosia in a thrilling penalty shootout to reach the Europa League Group Stages. Haroun was a late substitute in the first-leg of that tie.
In total, the 36-year-old has managed four appearances so far this season, watching on with more of a supporting role as Antwerp continue to impress in Belgium. As things stand Brian Priske has catapulted the club into second after 10 fixtures, with 20 points on the board.
It’s a mark of the player Haroun is that he’s been able to stay at the top level – albeit in Belgium – for as long as he has.
He never quite caught the promotion train with Karanka at Middlesbrough, falling short and moving to find success much closer to home.