Genk keeping Joseph Paintsil from Leeds United is offsetting the disappointment at losing Mike Tresor to Premier League newcomers Burnley, according to former Belgium manager Rene Vandereycken.
Had Leeds United wrapped up an £8.5 million deal for Joseph Paintsil in the final week of the window, Genk may have found themselves adapting to life without two players who, between them, mustered a staggering 64 goal contributions in 2022/23 alone.
Leeds eventually walked away from Paintsil after feeling that Genk had ‘moved the goalposts’ in negotiations (Sky Sports). The Ghana international then turned down the chance to join Southampton as part of a deal that would have seen Paul Onuachu move in the other direction.
And while Tresor will take some replacing – a tally of 24 assists last season better than every player in Europe’s major leagues – Vandereycken believes that Paintsil’s greater threat from open play renders him more ‘irreplaceable’ than Burnley’s deadline day addition.
Leeds and Southampton miss out on Joseph Paintsil
“I enjoyed the opening goal,” Vandereycken tells Het Belang Van Limburg; Paintsil assisting Andi Zeqiri’s opener away to Union Saint Gilloise on Saturday. “Paintsil did very well. The right pass at the right time at the right speed.
“It is more important for Genk’s game that Paintsil has stayed than Tresor. The latter was very good in terms of kicking technique. (Tresor’s) crosses and free-kicks were sublime.
“But Paintsil is more threatening. Zeqiri was able to easily score his first goal thanks to Paintsil’s sublime assist.”
According to The Athletic, Tresor could eventually set Burnley back around £15 million should the Clarets opt to turn his loan deal into a permanent transfer in 2024. Paintsil, meanwhile, has no regrets about turning his nose up at a Southampton side who have now conceded nine goals in their last two games, cascading out of the Championship’s play-off places as a result.
‘My heard said no’
”A lot of people, whose opinions I respect, thought I should go. Even my mum told me to opt for a transfer!” Paintsil tells Het Laaste Nieuws. “My godfather said; ‘Joseph, Southampton is a good club. You’re going to kill it there’.
“But my heart said ‘no’.”