Former Anderlecht star Yaw Preko has exclusively told SCORENigeria Nigeria youngster Henry Onyekuru will flourish at the Belgian champions in the new season.
Onyekuru, 20, is on a season-long loan at Anderlecht from Premier League club Everton.
Preko, who spent five seasons at Anderlecht between 1992-1997, scoring 27 goals in 92 appearances, said Belgian league is a suitable grooming ground for young players to break into bigger European leagues.
“For Onyekuru, I believe he will excel in the Belgian league because he is strong, hardworking and ambitious which I believe Everton saw these qualities before they signed him”, Preko told Scorenigeria.com.ng
“I started off my European career with Anderlecht in 1991, when I moved from Accra Hearts of Oak.
“And I know the club are a good stepping ground for African players, especially young players like (Henry) Onyekuru.
“He will do well there, I’m convinced about that”.
Pressed to outline qualities needed by the teenage Nigerian and former Aspire Football Academy forward, who was snapped in 2015 by KAS Eupen, Preko said discipline is key for success at the Belgian champions.
“It is nice he has spent two years already in Belgium with Eupen before moving up to Anderlecht,” said Preko, who has been capped 68 times by Ghana.
“That takes care of adaptation issues. It is more like promotion for him and he just needs to continue from where he stopped in terms of familiarization.
“But then, it is important he maintains high level of discipline, on and off the pitch.
“He must also ensure he takes in the coach’s philosophy because now that he is in a bigger club, the challenges will also by higher.
“Ability to take challenges is also important because Anderlecht is a much more bigger club than Eupen”.
The 42-year-old Preko started off his career at Accra Hearts of Oak in Ghana, playing 31 games and scoring nine goals before he was spotted by Anderlecht.
At Anderlecht, he scored 27 goals in 92 appearances before a switch to Turkish side Gazantiespor, where he scored 16 goals in 58 appearances.
The FC Ifeanyiubah coach moved on to Fenerbahce of Turkey, scoring seven goals in 27 games between 1999-2000 season.
Before retiring in 2007, Preko had spells at Yimpas Yozgatspor, Turkey, Gaziantespor, Halmstads BK, Al-Ettifaq and Hoang Anh Gia Lai, scoring a total of 85 goals in 338 appearances at club level.
By Sab Osuji