Michel Louwagie, the CEO of Gent, a Belgian football club, has acknowledged that the club took a calculated risk when signing Nigerian player Gift Orban from Stabæk Fotball during the January transfer window.
Prior to his transfer to Belgium, Orban was a relatively unknown player, but his impressive performances among the football elite have drawn the attention of top European clubs, who are closely monitoring his goal-scoring exploits.
Despite having played in the Norwegian Second Division just a few months prior, the 20-year-old has already scored nine goals in eight Belgian League matches and five goals in four Europa League appearances since joining Gent.
Watch some of Orban’s highlights:
Gent secured Orban’s signature from Stabæk for €3.5 million on the last day of the January transfer window, a move that was deemed a significant gamble by the Belgian press.
In a statement to BBC, Louwagie admitted that the club took a risk in signing Orban, but attributed it to the club’s head of recruitment, Samuel Cardenas, who insisted on the player’s talent and potential.
“The price was expected to be lower, but it increased after David Datro Fofana was sold from Molde to Chelsea for €12 million (£10.5 million),” said Louwagie. “But from the first time I watched Gift, I saw something special in him. His exceptional movement and complete technical abilities, including his ability to combine and score in different ways, convinced us to sign him.”