Does he stay or doesn’t he stay? AA Gent wants to go far to convince its top talent Jorthy Mokio (15) to sign a first professional contract. “If Mokio signs, he can be deployed very quickly for the A-team.”
Investing in youth was also discussed at the press conference by CEO Michel Louwagie and coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck about the Ghent winter mercato and the financial figures. Louwagie said: “I want to go back to the year 2005. Someone from my youth called me: ‘Can’t we do anything for Kevin De Bruyne?’ No, we couldn’t. At that time we had no resources to invest in youth. And now look. What have we done for Malick Fofana? At the age of fifteen he signed his first contract. He signed a total of three contracts with us and then made a top transfer. In other words, times have changed. We are taking steps.”
Important, because there is still a super talent among Ghent’s youth. Jorthy Mokio will celebrate his sixteenth birthday on February 29 and AA Gent hopes to sign him. No easy feat, as top European clubs are after the central defender. In particular, PSV, Lille, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and unnamed Italian clubs are showing interest.
RB Leipzig already made a concrete proposal, but in line with what Belgian clubs could offer. Then it is better to stay in Ghent, his entourage believes. Mokio, who was on a winter internship at the beginning of January, would like to continue growing with the Buffaloes. That’s the ideal scenario. But then the numbers will have to be correct.
Louwagie realizes that too. “We are trying to get Mokio to sign. I am not going to talk about the sums that we have now offered. Huge.”
Hein Vanhaezebrouck took over. “If Mokio signs, which we all hope, he will immediately join the first team and he can be deployed very quickly. Mokio is a special case. He is a fairly mature boy for his age – there is no problem with maturity. In the meantime, we are trying to make it clear to Mokio and the family that there is room in the team. He must not hesitate. Certainly not with me. Young players with talent get opportunities from me, develop further and can take a new step in the long term.”
The coach’s public charm offensive has also been deployed in this case.
LOOK. Hein Vanhaezebrouck about the past mercato
Bayern and Ajax are in the (long) queue: the hunt for AA Gent top talent Jorthy Mokio is on
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