Giant striker Paul Ebere Onuachu was Nigeria’s most outstanding individual player for the past season when he scored for fun in Belgium and also helped himself to a major trophy.
In the previous campaign and his first season in Belgium, the big centre-forward netted nine goals in the league.
This past season, he underlined the amazing progress he has made in Belgium when he fired 35 goals in all competitions for Genk to win the Cup and finish as runners-up in the league.
The awards have since been pouring in – Belgium Player of the Year, top scorer in the Jupiler Pro League, Ebony Boot.
Both club and player now hope to cash in on this stellar season with a big-money transfer to a club in a major league in Europe even though he still has three more years left on his contract.
His transfer market value has shot up to 20 Million Euros and Genk are hoping they can sell the striker they bought two years ago for six Million Euros for even more.
“Paul has played an exceptional season. So we really want to keep him. We have agreed that he can leave if the right conditions are met,” said the Genk President Peter Croonen.
“So whether I can guarantee that he will stay? No, I cannot.”
Genk sports director Dimitri De Condé said Onuachu could well be the club’s record transfer sale.
He said: “I’m not going to give concrete figures. But 20 million Euros is not an exaggeration. And yes, we think we have the largest outgoing transfer in the history of the club.”
Former Belgium coach René Vandereycken said he believes Onuachu can shine in the Premier League or the Bundesliga.
“Onuachu is a very special type of striker, you can hardly compare him with anyone”, Vandereycken told Het Nieuwsblad.
“Despite being 2.01 metres tall, Onuachu is technically strong and fast. And he often succeeds in making the right decision.
“He must be able to keep up perfectly in the Bundesliga or even the Premier League, as long as he chooses the right club and trainer.”
Onuachu himself is confident he will flourish in any of the major leagues in Europe.
“With my playing style I can play anywhere,” Onuachu declared.
“I am not a footballer because of my size but because of my talent.
“I want to score as many goals as possible every match. I am calm inside the pitch, which is also a plus, I don’t get rushed.
“The fact that clubs are showing interest now is due to the fact that I score a lot and show my worth. We’ll see when I’m ready to take on a new challenge that is offered me.”
Onuachu’s exploits have also earned him a return to the Super Eagles and he justified his recall by grabbing the match winner against Benin in March for Nigeria to advance to the AFCON with a game to spare as well as smashing another goal against Lesotho in Lagos.
He is confident the Super Eagles can now go all the way in Cameroon in January.
“We just have to go there (AFCON) and take the gold,” he declared.