Charleroi faced KVC Westerlo at home on the 9th matchday of the Belgian Pro League. The hosts started horrible to the game and were already down 0-2 after just ten minutes. After this terrible phase from Charleroi, they woke up and basically controlled the rest of the game. Around ten minutes before half time, Isaac Mbenza scored after a nice one-two pass between Zorgane and Nkuba on the right. The second half was all Charleroi, but they struggled to really create any big chances. Just before full time, in the 88th minute, it looked like the hosts were at least going to get a point after Badji headed in a cross. However, Westerlo instantly struck back with a goal of their own, winning the game 2-3.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Algerian
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 06/01/2000
- Club: Charleroi
- Career: Paradou AC, Charleroi
- Position: Central Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Both
Adem Zorgane joined Charleroi at the start of last season from the Algerian side Paradou AC and has been a starter from them since. Manager Edward Still sent his side out in some sort of a 3-4-3 formation and Zorgane played as one of the two central midfielders, together with Marco Ilaimaharitra. The 22-year-old had a solid game for Charleroi. Out of all the players on the pitch, he had the most touches on the ball and covered the most ground. This doesn’t automatically confirm that he played well of course but it at least shows he is comfortable with the ball and has great work rate. His work rate was indeed very good throughout this match however, when Westerlo scored their second goal I really feel like he could’ve tracked back better.
Zorgane was involved in both of Charleroi’s goals this game. In the 36th minute, the Algerian played a great one-touch pass to Ken Nkuba on the right, who then played a good low cross in for Mbenza to tap in. And after a short corner, Zorgane put in a good cross which was headed in by Youssouph Badji for the equalizer.
On the ball, Zorgane just looked very solid. He was really the heart of this Charleroi side and was constantly roaming from right to left, to be able to receive the ball and find a teammate. The Algerian is supposed to be mainly right-footed but showed that his left foot is almost just as good. This makes him a lot more unpredictable. His other strength, which really helps him in possession, is his spatial awareness. In tight spaces, Zorgane often only needed one or two touches to find a teammate. He played some difficult passes in behind Westerlo’s defenders, which didn’t always succeed but if they did were very dangerous. Overall his distribution of the ball was great. He showed great passing range and was able to play great switches with both feet.
Physically Zorgane doesn’t really stand out in my opinion. The 22-year-old is 1.84 meters tall and is quite strong in his duels. This helps him offensively when he needs to shield the ball, but defensively I didn’t really see him use his physique often. It was a bit hard to properly judge how fast he is, but during the times that he was sprinting in transitions he could keep up fine.
Rating – A1
It would surprise me if Adem Zorgane would still play for Charleroi next summer. He had adapted and developed very quickly and should be able to play at a higher level.
- Nationality: Belgian
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 21/01/2002
- Club: Charleroi
- Career: Charleroi
- Position: Right Winger
- Secondary Position: Right Wingback, Left Winger
- Preferred foot: Right
After recovering from a bad knee, Ken Nkuba really cemented his place in Charleroi’s first team in the playoffs last season. This season he has started in every league game for Charleroi so far, mainly as their right wingback. Against Westerlo, he also played on the right and had some promising moments. However, I felt like both of Charleroi’s wingbacks could’ve been utilized a lot more this match. There were times when Charleroi played a little too slow, which gave Westerlo time to regroup at the back. Nkuba positioned himself very high up the pitch on the right side in possession, dropping back when Westerlo had the ball. Defensively he was still quite vulnerable. It’s quite clear that he is not a defender but he still showed great work rate and gave his all in his duels.
Standing at 1.79m Ken Nkuba is a very athletic player. Mainly his pace and agility are two big weapons he has. He looked very fast on the first meters and has good top speed. It looked like he had quite a lean build but with great lower body strength. Just like Zorgane, Ken Nkuba’s left foot is also very strong and he was not afraid to cut inside with the ball. He wasn’t always successful in the final third, mainly his higher crosses were quite poor at times, but managed to surprise Westerlo’s left back De Cuyper a few times. One of those occasions was of course his great assist, where he found Mbenza with a good low cross.
Rating – A2
I definitely feel like Nkuba has the potential to make a nice move in the future but there are a lot of areas he still has to improve on. I didn’t feel like he was very comfortable defensively and also on the ball in tight spaces he can do better, but at the age of 20, he still has plenty of time.