“They drove that kid crazy” – Al-Ahli manager blames Genk for Onuachu’s form slump

The Nigerian international was one of the most prolific strikers in Europe last season but failed to see a move to a bigger club materialise in the summer

Former Anderlecht manager Besnik Hasi has held KRC Genk responsible for Paul Onuachu’s goalscoring troubles this season. 

Onuachu has notched a decent return of 12 goals in 23 games across all competitions for Genk, but even that does not compare to his production level last term.

By last December, the ex-Midtjylland ace had racked up 15 goals in just 17 league matches, and he ended the campaign with an astonishing 35 goals and five assists.

The 2021 Ebony Shoe Award winner was a class above the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, and many expected him to make the step up to any of Europe’s biggest leagues.

Anticipating a windfall, Genk then slammed a €25 transfer fee on a striker they paid Midtjylland €6 million to acquire in 2019.

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West Ham, Arsenal, and Lyon were among the clubs linked to Onuachu’s signature, but no club eventually matched the Smurfs’ evaluation, and the Nigerian was condemned to remain in Belgium.

The Super Eagles striker initially appeared to have shaken off the disappointment of his mishandled transfer, but he has struggled in recent weeks.

Onuachu has managed just one goal in 11 games for Genk, with the club suffering a mixed season that has resulted in the sacking of manager John van den Brom.

Hasi, who won one league title with Genk before claiming three others with Anderlecht in his playing days, insists the Smurfs not selling Onuachu impacted negatively on the 27-year-old.

“KRC Genk could have sold Onuachu,” the current Al-Ahli Saudi FC manager told Het Laatste Nieuws as per VoetbalPrimeur.

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“It was impossible to repeat such an exceptional season. They drove that kid crazy, and in the end, he couldn’t get a transfer. He was never able to get over that.”

Onuachu will aim to end his five-match goal drought when Genk take the trip to the GHELAMCO-arena to face high-flying Gent on Sunday.