The Smurfs have been the best team in Belgium since the start of the campaign but all their good works are about to be flushed down the drain
Retired Belgian forward Marc Degryse has raised concerns that the departure of Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu could affect KRC Genk’s bid to claim their first Jupiler League title since 2019.
Genk were without equal through the length and breadth of Belgium in the first half of the season, winning all but one of 15 league matches played between September 11 and January 29th this year.
Onuachu was the best of the lot during that period. The Super Eagles striker netted 16 goals as Genk cruised to the top of the table and towards the club’s fifth league title.
But Genk allowed Onuachu to leave for Southampton on transfer deadline day, while the Blue and Whites brought his compatriot Tolu Arokodare from Amiens as his replacement.
Genk has smiled to the bank with a net profit of €13 million from that deal but the club’s performances on the pitch have taken a bit of a hit.
Wouter Vrancken’s men have won only one of three games played since Onuachu left and at the weekend they suffered their first home defeat of the season – a 1-0 reverse to Antwerp.
And former Genk striker Marc Degryse fears it may be the beginning of the table toppers’ collapse.
What has been said?
“Onuachu’s departure may still raise doubts,” Degryse told Het Laatste Nieuws.
“Wouter Vrancken won’t say it, but you can’t be blind to that. Even if they deserved at least a point on Sunday and should have even won.
“You have to deal with Samatta because he has become a starter now. But he will not become Onuachu.
“It’s more up to Genk to hope that Arokodare finds his bearings quickly. Until the play-offs, things can still go wrong for Genk.
“Because in the meantime, the Union has made further progress. If you see how they presented themselves in Bruges… They have charisma, conviction, and quality. Genk will still have a lot to do. The Union surely has fewer problems with the departure of Vanzeir, while the losing Onuachu could cost Genk points.”
Genk remain first on the league standings but only six points now separate the smurfs and second-place Union Saint-Gilloise.