Ignore what they tell you, Belgian’s Pro League is fast becoming an elite European division.
At the moment, it’s just under Europe’s top five league in terms of ratings, and with the golden generation of players coming through into the Belgium national team, it is clear that the domestic clubs and academies are doing something right.
It’s the same league in which Ukraine’s Roman Yaremchuk scored 17 goals for Gent last season. That position made for a joint-third position in the top scorer charts.
The 25-year-old has also been a standout performer for Ukraine during the ongoing Euro 2020 finals, scoring goals against the Netherlands and North Macedonia.
He has now scored a total of ten goals in 26 outings for the Blue and Yellows, including his strikes in the playoffs.
The striker clearly has no trouble finding the net, and Newcastle United should look to him as a potential signing in the summer transfer window.
Newcastle need a backup for Callum Wilson, a player who showed last season he’s quite injury-prone, and Yaremchuk would be perfect.
Manager Steve Bruce cannot rely on the proficiency of Andy Carroll and Joelinton. Those target-men might be adept at carrying the ball and holding it up, but they struggle to score goals for Newcastle.
At 191cm, Yaremchuk is a towering striker, too, but unlike the others, he is capable in front of goal. Last campaign, the Gent player made 2.2 strikes inside the penalty box per 90 minutes, as well as an average of 0.6 goals per 90 minutes across the season.
Yaremchuk is an expert at dropping into space in the midfield – and he can also make some neat runs behind the backline and towards goal. He is able to mix these runs up, too, making for a dangerous and unpredictable player to face off against as a defender.
The Daily Express report that West Ham United are interested in recruiting the striker, owing to the chemistry with Hammers winger and fellow countryman Andriy Yarmolenko.
It’s fair to say he’s piqued the interest of Premier League clubs already – and with the Hammers being in Europe next season, they will no doubt be a more attraction destination for the Gent player.
But similar to Newcastle, West Ham’s owners like to dillydally on the market as well. What the Magpies have on their side is a manager who gets on with the owner, and as such, they have money to spend, some £50million according to the Chronicle, to bolster their striker force.
Jacque Talbot is on Twitter.