Onuachu was arguably the best player at Genk, and the club has struggled badly since his transfer to Southampton
Genk technical director Dimitri de Condé has defended Paul Onuachu’s January transfer to Southampton, as he believes the deal was inevitable.
Onuachu was one of the best players in the Belgian Jupiler League for the last three seasons.
The Super Eagles striker was the highest goalscorer in the Belgian top-flight three seasons ago scoring 33 goals in 38 appearances for the Limburgers.
Onuachu was linked with a number of clubs in Europe like Arsenal, Lyon, Sassuolo, and West Ham.
However, a deal failed to materialize, as none of his suitors were willing to match Genk’s asking price. And the club refused to shift ground even after Onuachu revealed that he wanted to leave the club.
Last season, Onuachu scored 21 goals in 35 appearances for Genk despite his injury struggles.
This season, the Nigerian striker started the season well with the Limburgers, netting 17 goals in 22 appearances, helping them to the top spot in the Jupiler League.
Onuachu finally got his move in January, as Southampton swooped in for him in a deal worth €18million.
However, the former Midtjylland man has failed to pin down a shirt at St. Mary’s. Meanwhile, his former club Genk has struggled for form since his departure.
They have won just two of their last eight games in all competitions since Onuachu left. And pundits have criticized the club for selling him in January.
But Genk boss De Conde has stated that it was impossible to hold on to Onuachu. And he feels that the club is unlucky that the reinforcements that they brought in have not been able to match up to the Nigerian striker.
“We knew for two years that a departure for Paul [Onuachu] would be a loss. That just makes perfect sense,” De Conde said per Hampshire live.
“Someone with his stats, who won the golden boot, scored goals, and broke club records. You will always miss such a player. Paul was a phenomenon.
“We also knew that he would leave one day. Agreements had been made and from a human point of view, you couldn’t stop that. We still stand by our decision.
“We focus on the guys who are still there and still have a very strong group. At the beginning of the season, we took points without Paul and now we’re taking our points as well. [Mbwana] Samatta didn’t do too bad and we were unlucky that Tolu [Arokodare] got injured shortly after his arrival.
That’s part of football. We hope to be able to count on him again in the playoffs.”
Genk acquired the services of another Nigerian hitman Tolu Arokodare from Amiens, but he got injured in February.
The Limburgers sit at the summit of the Jupiler League, and they would look to end the season on a high despite their recent struggles.