With 18 goal contributions (5G/13A) Mike Trésor Ndayishimiye was one of the most impactful players of the first half of the season in the world. Trésor is a 23-year-old left winger/attacking midfielder who plays in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League for KRC Genk but had his start in professional football in the Netherlands. After being released by RSC Anderlecht, Trésor was picked up by N.E.C. Nijmegen, who then played in the Dutch 2nd tier. After slowly getting more and more minutes in the first team he ended the season with seven goals and three assists. N.E.C. just missed out on promotion but Mike Trésor didn’t as he was picked up by Willem II. In Tilburg he had two solid seasons, even reaching the Europa League qualifiers with them, and he started being linked to bigger clubs.
In July 2021 Trésor returned to Belgium with a transfer to KRC Genk, but he wasn’t an instant success. He started his first season strong with four assists in three games but lost his spot under John van den Brom as Genk’s results got worse. When van den Brom was sacked, Trésor got new chances to prove himself under Bernd Storck, but the German manager often used him as an ‘8’ or a ‘6’, which is not where he shines. Racing Genk ended the season 8th in the league and missed out on the playoffs for the Championship. This season, under Wout Vrancken, things are different. Genk is currently in first place with quite a gap and as I pointed out earlier Mike Trésor is putting up fantastic numbers.
Mike Trésor has been playing as KRC Genk’s left inverted winger this season, with either Bilal El Khannouss or Nicolás Castro in the middle, in Genk’s 4-2-3-1. You will often see him roaming towards the middle and changing positions with their attacking midfielder, who will then move slightly to the left flank. This is something you don’t really see their right winger Joseph Paintsil do, who stays near the touchline most of the time.
The Belgian has never been the strongest player, standing at 1.72m, but he seemed to have gained a significant amount of muscle mass, especially in his upper body, in his time at Genk. He does reasonably well in his duels, mainly due to his low centre of gravity and good agility. For his opponents, it’s just very hard to get in shoulder-to-shoulder duels as he turns quickly with the ball and uses smart body feints and quick bursts of pace to keep his distance. Trésor is mainly fast on the first few meters with decent speed over long distances.
It’s a bit of a stereotype that left-footed players often have that something extra on the ball. Mike Trésor may be right-footed but certainly has that type of magic on the ball in him. The left winger has a lot of flair and is hard to stop when he gets going. The clip below is just too good not to share.
Now if things don’t really go his way or his team is struggling, this also seems to affect Trésor. He often seems quite nonchalant or even a little lazy when defending. This has gotten a bit less compared to when he played in the Netherlands, but can still be quite frustrating to see. In an interview with Nieuwsblad back in August, he said that this is something he works on.
Mike Trésor is mainly a very good creator, which is what his stats also show. His set-pieces are a real weapon for Genk as he already got four assists from indirect free-kicks and three assists from corners. He puts his corners in with quite a lot of power at a great height, so his teammates don’t have to generate a lot of power with their headers and he curves his free-kicks very well. Now we also have to note the absolute giant Paul Onuachu, standing at 2.01m, is the ideal teammate to have in such situations.
In open play, Trésor is also a fantastic player with the ball at his feet. He is a great dribbler, keeping the ball very tight to him, and does very well in tight spaces. He almost exclusively dribbles with his right foot though, which makes him quite a bit more predictable. It’s a bit of a strange thing since he seems very comfortable shooting or passing with his left foot and even scored a couple of fantastic goals with it.
Trésor likes to take quite a bit of risk on the ball, mainly with his passing. The 23-year-old has great vision and loves to line breaking through passes. Since he often picks to play very difficult passes the success rate on these isn’t very high, but when they work out they are simply fantastic. His distribution of the ball overall is very good and he is able to play great switches to the right. In the final third, his decision-making is usually good although he can overcomplicate things for himself at times. This assist below against Westerlo might be my favourite one of his. As he receives the ball he spots his teammate Hrosovsky making a run, but Trésor coaches him to move to the centre and then plays a lovely pass into the gap.
Conclusion & Future
Mike Trésor is having a fantastic season at KRC Genk and I definitely expect him to make a move in the summer. He is putting up fantastic stats this season, but we have to note that without the qualities of Paul Onuachu, these may have been a little bit lower. I think that Mike Trésor has the ability to go to a team that fights for Europa League spots in one of the top leagues and likes to play attacking football. In his current role, he has quite a bit of freedom to roam around and I hope he can keep that attacking freedom if he does move. As I’m writing this Trésor is being linked to Stade Rennes, which would be a great next step for him.