As May turns to June, football wise, a big week in Belgium ended as Oostende rounded off the season in a great way for them and a devastating way for Genk on the pitch. Off the pitch, not only did Yves Vanderhaeghe pen a new deal til 2020, the signings didn’t stop there at the Versluys Arena.
Ibrahima Bah and Logan Ndembe joined the journey the club hope to take abroad, signing on Saturday from Standard Liege and Mouscron respectively. The depth of their squad will have to pick up with European football, hoping to finish the season domestically again AND maybe going one step further in the Belgian Cup?
But the one signing which was pasted over my phone for a day was the return of Sven Kums to Anderlecht. Coming through the ranks at the Belgian champions, he has never worn the shirt in a competitive match for Les Mauves. Not just the fact he is Belgian, he isn’t a stranger to the Pro League or the clubs within it. As I’ve stated, he has never played for Anderlecht, but, has played for Lierse, Kortrijk, Zulte Waregem and Gent, and won the league whilst at Gent too!
Like a fine wine he seems to be getting better with age. Signing officially from Watford, he never played for the Hornets, but was kept in the ‘family’ by going on loan to Udinese in Italy where he played 29 matches! Will he be a replacement for Tielemans? Maybe, but next season will be as tough as ever and will hope to come home, continuing the glory!
The thing that hit me was that Genk’s week looked very good as Ruslan Malinovskiy signed permanently from Shakhtar Donetsk, but the reality that Mathew Ryan and Jean-Paul Boetius returned to their parent clubs. With just the league to occupy the club’s time next season, will others follow suit and leave the Luminus Arena? I hope not because the club’s performance picked up in 2017 and maybe one more season with the majority of this crop of players, plus some additions, could create a push for the title. I don’t think that’s totally unrealistic, but the worry their top players will want at least Europa League football is a worry.
Other deals included Jordy Peffer signing a four year deal at Mechelen before going on loan to relegated Westerlo and Frenchman Thibault Peyre going to Union Saint Gilloise for an undisclosed fee, which I think will be a big boost for the First Div B club.
More deals I’m sure will continue, starting with today, but more will be confirmed throughout the week!