Beerschot broke their transfer record when they paid out 1.5 million Euros to Swiss side Lucerne for striker Blessing Eleke.
The big poser is whether the well-travelled 24-year-old striker will go on to justify the huge investment by Beerschot, who are back in the top-flight league after several years in the lower rungs.
“This is a major but well-considered transfer,” Beerschot chairman Francis Vrancken declared.
“We are convinced that Eleke’s market value can still rise.”
Eleke, who made his league debut this past weekend as a late sub in a 3-1 home win over Zulte Waregem, is eager to get his career back on track after a disappointing past season in Switzerland.
He posted limited playing minutes last season, but he still belonged to the top of the Super League among the strikers with the most successful offensive actions per game.
This statistic is reassuring as Eleke was not a regular at Lucerne.
He was not among the top 10 goal scorers in Switzerland, but he still racked up some impressive stats.
He was great in one-on-one duels with an average of 55% successful dribbles to rank him third best central striker in the Swiss league. Something keeps happening with Eleke on the ball, especially because he can link his good dribble to an above average speed.
But even more than through his dribbles, Eleke made the difference last season through his insight and passing. With a 77% successful passing efficiency, he was only behind Arthur Cabral from FC Basel.
In other passing parts, the Nigerian striker was top for accuracy of offensive passes, through balls and passes to the final third, nobody could match his efficiency in Switzerland.
Beerschot coach Hernan Losada was of course delighted when Eleke signed a three-year contract.
The Argentine has considered his new signing as an ideal addition to the division two champions.
“We transferred him because of his talent and qualities. He is both strong and fast, and for a 1.90 metres tall striker he has a lot of technique,” he remarked.
“In short, the ideal addition for our attack.”
Eleke will undoubtedly be at home with Losada’s vertical tactical approach, which will allow him to play an important role as central striker.
In the game against KV Oostende it became clear that Beerschot often set up their attacks via the central axis, which is more dangerous than through the flanks.
It is Eleke’s chance to shine in Belgium after his many travels, from Slovenia to Israel and most recently to Switzerland.