KRC Genk had three strikers of Nigerian descent at the start of the campaign, but the one pushed out on loan has excelled in the Netherlands
Ex-Ajax striker Tom Soetaers has been pleased with the efficiency and output of Nigerian striker Cyriel Dessers for Feyenoord in recent weeks.
Soetaers is convinced that had Dessers stayed back at Genk; he would have offered more to the Smurfs than former Chelsea ace Ike Ugbo.
At a point in the summer, Ugbo, Dessers, and Paul Onuachu were all on the books of Genk after the Belgian side acquired the latter from Chelsea for almost four million euros.
But Dessers left shortly after and joined Feyenoord on loan when he realised the arrival of Ugbo had pushed him down the pecking order.
After a slow start to life on his return to the Netherlands, Dessers has seen a rise in his profile following a string of match-winning performances.
The 26-year-old has acquired the status of a super-sub after coming off the bench to grab late strikes against PSV, NEC, Sparta Rotterdam, and AZ Alkmaar.
And former Belgian forward Soetaers believes the one-cap Nigerian international can push for a starting role at Feyenoord.
“He can’t settle for supersub status. In my eyes, he has the qualities to be first choice, and he can also express that ambition,” the current SC Hoegaarden-Outgaarden coach told HBVL.
“I don’t think it’s flattering for a striker to be called supersub.”
Since Dessers departed Genk, Ugbo has only managed two goals in ten league appearances, with only two of those coming as a starter.
Dessers, though, has hit the net four times in seven league games, while he also netted a late winner for Feyenoord away to Union Berlin in the Europa Conference League.
Soetaers is convinced that Dessers’ performances have shown that he would have been a better fit for Genk as Onuachu’s understudy than Ugbo.
“I will link back to Genk for a moment. There he was outflanked by Onuachu. A tough competitor, that’s right.
“Yet he was too accommodating. When Genk reached Ugbo at the end of last season, he already saw himself becoming third striker.
“Then it is easy for a club to push you aside. While I think he can do more than Ugbo.”
All three strikers were in line to feature for the Super Eagles until Ugbo reversed his decision to play for the three-time African champions, switching his allegiance to Canada.
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