Japan and KV Kortrijk defender, Tsuyoshi Watanabe, in his analysis of Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu, suggested that the KRC Genk star is good but not a smart forward as his goal record suggests.
Taking into account Onuachu’s goal account, the forward is the most prolific Nigerian attacker in any of Europe’s first leagues since the start of the 2020/2021 season.
Using his height advantage, intelligent movement, and finishing nous, Onuachu has scored 62 league goals for Genk over the last two and a half seasons, more than any of his countrymen, reason why he has been coveted by several European clubs.
Watanabe, who arrived in Belgium in December 2021, is one of the defenders who has been on the receiving end of Onuachu’s penalty box prowess.
Onuachu and Watanabe’s face-off, in October with the Nigerian claiming the bragging rights at the final whistle.
The Genk striker scored both goals to hand his side a 2-1 home victory in a matchday 11 fixture.
Watanabe edged the most recent meeting between the two, keeping Onuachu quiet for 68 minutes before the striker was replaced.
And despite his engaging duel with Onuachu, Watanabe believes the striker is not as smart as his Kortrijk teammate, Avennatti, who has six league goals, eight fewer than Onuachu’s haul.
In an interview with Nieuwsblad, Watanabe was asked to compare the Japanese and Belgian leagues, and in his response, the 25-year-old launched his unprovoked attack against Onuachu.
“(The Japanese league) has smarter and more technical players than the Belgian,” Watanabe said.
“Many duels are fought here between big boys. Take the match against Genk now. I faced Onuachu. A good player, but not a smart striker. He only uses his body and I managed to win many headers from him.
“Avenatti was the best striker I ever had to defend against. Last year in the duel against Beerschot, he made it quite difficult for us and scored once. Avenatti is big, but he has a lot of technique and that makes it difficult for a defender.”