How former Portsmouth, Peterborough and Middlesbrough defender's market value has soared as Union St Gilloise close in on historic Belgian title

Sitting top of the Jupiler Pro League with trailblazers Union St Gilloise and on the cusp of European football will seem a million miles away from Christian Burgess’ fairly-recent Pompey experience.

And so, too, will his latest transfer market value as the popular defender edges closer to yet another league title.

When the 30-year-old brought his five-season Fratton Park stay to an end in 2020, he made the surprise move to the Belgian First Division B as a free agent.

He cost the Brussels-based outfit nothing as they identified the centre-back to be a key player in their pursuit of a return to the top flight.

Now, nearly two years on and with top-flight ambitions replaced with Champions League dreams, Burgess has a hefty price tag on his shoulders.

Indeed, according to transfermarkt.co.uk, any club looking to sign the former Fratton favourite following his success across the water would need to stump up more than £1m for the privilege.

In fact, £1.08m to be precise, if the website is to believed, with Burgess currently ranked as the 13th best-forming player in the the Belgian First Division A.

Christian Burgess celebrates scoring Royale Union Saint-Gilloise's opening goal in their 3-0 win against Sporting Charleroi on Saturday. Picture: VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

There’s no suggestion that Burgess or Union are looking to end their love affair, which has at least another year to go.

Nevertheless, his current market value is a far cry from the figures normally associated with the talented centre-back, who arrived at then League Two Pompey in 2015 from League One Peterborough for an undisclosed fee.

According to transfermark, his value rose from £180,000 back then to around the £200,000 mark prior to his move overseas.

But it’s a fair reflection of the huge strides Burgess has taken as he’s seen his career soar to record new heights.

Indeed, with Union St Gilloise currently nine points clear of nearest challengers Club Brugge at the top of the table with just six games remaining, they’re on the brink of securing their first top-flight title in 87 years.

And the former Pompey player of the year is at the centre of that success, featuring 22 times this season and scoring four goals – including the opener in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Charleroi.

Without wanting to tempt fate, a place among Europe’s elite beckons for Burgess & Co – the now £1m man with a huge fans base not a millions miles way hoping that his latest Belgian dream comes true.