I switched up day to season of course. And they are. They always have been and always will be. Strikers will always and for ever be the need for every club anywhere and everywhere, and of course, that applies to Belgium. Whether it’s fresh faces or familiar faces, teams will acquire players, especially in the forward positions, and particular strikers will always be needed. Once you feel the small, quick striker is out of favour, they come back, to replace the tall, strong striker who heads everything. Then there’s the wide attacker who drifts in. The ‘false No.9’ which apparently Spain invented in Euro 2012 or whatever. There’s a partnership, no wait, one on their own, or gung ho with 3 up top with all different qualities.
Now onto my point. Yesterday saw a key striker who had a trial match on Saturday and passed the test. The club he has now joined stupidly signed him days after he clinically put them to the sword twice. Oostende have signed Beveren talisman Zinho Gano. I am truly gutted for Waasland Beveren who will have to rely on Olivier Myny and goals around the team, which isn’t a problem, but without Gano they’d be 4 goals worse off right now.
Eupen have signed Mbaye Leye after his release from Zulte Waregem. I and a good Belgian football fan predicted he’d go somewhere like Eupen. We both concurred that he’d be good for a young team, and the Senegalese Aspire Academy influence would probably come into play too. A three year deal which will most likely see the rest of his career out with the Pandas makes me think what else could progress from this deal long term after Leye’s playing days?
Then unfortunately you see the Golden Shoe winner of 2016 leave the league in Jose Izquierdo. I really wonder how Club Brugge fans feel losing such a quality player AND their title winning manager in the same season? I’ve actually just thought of that. Losing 2 key men from that dressing room and both leaders in their own way, on and off the pitch. The Colombian joining Brighton gives me mixed feelings. Firstly, in a positive light, he is deemed good enough for the Premier League, meaning players in Belgium, and there are, are considered Premier League quality. But in a negative light, he is deemed only good enough for Brighton (no offense) where technically, they were the 22nd best team in England last season, and second best in England’s 2nd tier. Same of course applies to Matt Ryan, but this is a striker post, so less said the better.
And of course, other signings have been made as these players must’ve been deemed surplus to requirements, or forced their way out, and players have been already signed into their place. Nicolas Verdier has common up top for Eupen too, with Henry Onyekuru going on loan to Anderlecht via Everton. The brilliant Dennis Bonaventure has come in along with Jeremy Perbet at Club Brugge and Zulte Waregem have signed Ivan Saponjic on loan from Benfica. Obviously other teams have invested in attack, but with this merry go round of strikers within the league or Europe, one move then sparks another.
Going back to the beginning of all of this, the Zinho Gano move to Oostende, probably filling the gap left behind by Nany Dimata, will mean there’s a place to fill at Beveren, meaning that’ll create funds or space at that club, and the domino effect will carry on until September the first. We all love a deal, especially when it’s a name, and I’d be excited if I were a Kustboy right now meaning they may just get their first points this weekend, although at Eupen, the likelihood is pretty big, even with Mbaye Leye.
To cap off, I’m glad that there are very good strikers in Belgium, meaning anyone can beat anyone, which has already been proved, and that if there is a chance, the likelihood of it being taken is greater than it missing, and goals is what fans want!
(All pictures courtesy of Getty Images)