A few hours before the deadline for KRC Genk to submit its European squad, two new faces have arrived at the Cegeka Arena. Andi Zeqiri will be a new man who will help carry the Genk attack; Zakaria El Ouhadi will compete with Daniel Muñoz at right back. Both new arrivals have signed a contract for three seasons with an option for an additional season.
An extra layer to the Genk attack
Zeqiri makes the switch from Brighton. In the past two seasons, from the former club of Leandro Trossard, he was loaned to the Swiss sides FC Ausburg and FC Basel respectively. In his home country, the new Genk striker made his name. In 50 games he managed to score 18 times and provide two assists. In the Conference League, he made it to the semifinals with FC Basel last season, where they came up against Fiorentina, KRC Genk's first opponent in the group stage of the Conference League this season.
“Andi is an agile attacker with a lot of running ability and good positioning in the box. He is very complementary to the guys we already have in the team. In short, he is the ideal addition to our attacking compartment,” said Head of Football Dimitri de Condé.
Zeqiri himself walked into the Cegeka Arena with a broad smile: “Logical”, says the new Genk number 9. “KRC Genk is a club with an enormous history. Some of the best players in European football have passed through Genk; their ambition shines here. They want to compete for the title and they are playing European football. I remember Leandro Trossard from Brighton. He has told me many good things about the club. I can't wait to get started.”
A 21-year-old modern fullback
Zakaria El Ouhadi will also strengthen the Genk defence. Last season, El Ouhadi, who had 8 goals and 6 assists in 55 games, was one of the stars at RWDM, who earned promotion to the top flight. His performances attracted the attention of several clubs, but in the end a switch to Genk appealed to him the most. El Ouhadi was mainly played as a wingback in Brussels; at Genk he will compete at right back with Daniel Muñoz, a position he also plays for the Moroccan U-23s.
“Zakaria is everything we look for in a modern full-back. He combines defensive qualities with creative and attacking abilities. He can come into his own in our attacking style of play,” said Dimitri de Condé as he explained the talents of Genk’s new acquisition.
The brand new Genkie also says he didn't have to think long when the interest became concrete. “Genk always wants to keep the ball and play attacking football, with the ball on the ground. That fits perfectly with my qualities. For me, KRC Genk is simply the best club in the country,” said El Ouhadi. “Bilal El Khannouss, whom I know from the Moroccan U-23, has also done his best to praise his team,” said the new Genkie with a wink.