Paul Onuachu can finally heave a sigh of relief after a long, drawn out transfer saga came to a desirable end with him signing for Belgian club KRC Genk.
FC Midtjylland wanted more for their striker than the £4.6m Genk and Anderlecht were both willing to pay. The Danish club, however, deserved whatever they demanded for their prized asset. They took the risk of granting the lanky forward a scholarship while he was yet a school boy in Nigeria. They nurtured him from being a rough diamond into the prolific striker that all now lust after. That journey took seven years. But now Genk have got their number one summer target.
“KRC Genk reached an agreement with Danish [club] FC Midtjylland about the transfer of Paul Onuachu. The 25-year-old Nigerian striker signed a contract until 2024,” the Belgian club announced on their website on Thursday, August 22.
OFFICIAL: 🇳🇬 striker Paul Onuachu has joined Racing Genk from Midtjylland for €6 million.
He's also signed a five-year contract deal with the Belgian club until 2024. pic.twitter.com/Lrt9PnQveK
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) August 23, 2019
A new chapter is opened and the 25-year-old has a chance to make a name for himself in the same league that birthed other Nigeria heroes like Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro, Stephen Keshi and Tijani Babangida among others.
He is not only joining one of the most attack-focused teams in that country but also the current champions of the Jupiler League.
As Belgium champions, Genk would be competing in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. Although, no one expects Racing to go all the way and win Europe’s biggest prize but it would be a good platform for the Nigeria international to rub shoulders with the continent’s best and possibly show the world the quality he possesses that has remain hidden for so long in the backwaters of the Europa League qualifiers.
Switching to Genk – a much bigger club than the Danish side – is a fantastic move for the striker, and a decent piece of business for the team he left behind.
“Paul is a fantastic story for a forward. He entered the academy and developed quietly, both as a human and a player, and many in the club, ranging from the foster family to the coaching staff, have a stake in the fact that we now sell Paul to a strong and big club like KRC Genk,” Midtjylland’s sporting director, Svend Graversen said about the striker.
“It is a fantastic sale for the whole club, we wish Paul all the best in the future, and of course we thank him for all he did for the club.”
But what exactly does Paul Onuachu add to the Belgium League winners?
Apart from being a good striker of the ball, Onuachu, in all his 2.1m glory is an unmistakable presence in the box, strong in duels both in the air and on the ground.
Remember the name, Paul ONUACHU! What a goal pic.twitter.com/lnqg76QdO8
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) March 26, 2019
You want goals, you call Paul. 74 goals and 23 assists in a little over 180 matches reveal that the Owerri born forward has been a nightmare to many defenders. More of the same would be expected of him in Belgium.
And he looks like one who can deliver.
And for the Super Eagles?
It is important that Onuachu delivers for Genk in the league and the UEFA Champions League because that would almost automatically place him ahead of the queue of the Super Eagles strikers aiming to claim the No 9 jersey laid down by the retired Odion Ighalo.
This season could be crucial to the fortunes of who takes over the striking role for Gernot Rohr’s team.
Victor Osimhen, with his blistering start to life in the French Ligue 1 appears to have an head start. A good run in the Champions League group stages could see Onuachu edge back in front. It’s a rival that all Super Eagles fans should look forward to with excitement and a challenge that both strikers should relish.
Name any 6ft 7 Striker who is this fleet footed like “Paul Onuachu” 😉
— Football 411 (@football__411) June 22, 2019
FC Midtjylland may have smiled to the bank, almost N8bn richer but it is Paul Onuachu and KRC Genk who should be delighted that they have paid just enough for a striker who should be worth a lot more in another 12 months for both club and country.