KRC Genk U23 – Match report vs FCV Dender (24/01/23)

While KRC Genk’s first team is dominating the league, the u23 are having a much harder time in the second division. Due to a canceled match for the team from Limburg and a win by Royal Excelsior Virton, they dropped to last place last weekend. With a starting eleven with an average age of 19.9, some transfer issues, and the fact that they had not played a match since 9 December, it did not look like an easy match for the Genkies.

Starting in a 4-2-3-1, with over- and underlapping backs, it quickly became clear that Hans Somers wanted to create a lot of depth. Opting for two creative wingers, Mika Godts and Kelvin John, also created an immediate attacking threat, which led to the 0-1 by Godts. After a strong start, Genk was pressed away in many areas. But the home team lacked efficiency, potentially losing important points. What looked on paper to be a goal-fest by 2 teams that score and let score a lot, turned out to be a close match in hindsight.



  • 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

Mika Godts

Player profile:

• Nationality: Belgian

• Age: 17

• Date of birth: 07/06/2005

• Current club: Jong Genk

• Career: RSC Anderlecht (Y), KRC Genk (Y)

• Position: Left Winger

• Secondary position: Attacking Midfielder

• Preferred foot: Right

Godts played this match in the role of a creative winger in a 4-2-3-1, with Tuur Rommens often overlapping and underlapping from behind him. A few days before this match, Godts informed Genk that he did not want to sign a new contract. There was already concrete interest from Ajax. On the last day of the transfer market, this interest changed into a transfer, and the 17-year-old Belgian made the move to Ajax.

Godts is known for his strong dribble, danger from the wing, and his vision. This a great sign for what we could expect. After the first 11 minutes, then, his footballing vision came in handy, a good throw-in from Rommens set Godts well on his way to the 0-1. A move inside, and place in the far corner proved to be the winning goal afterward.

Godts has an exceptional quality, the ability to break the defensive line with the ball on foot. Because of his acceleration, he can quickly pass 1-2 men without any problem when they make a move. He did so on several occasions, so there was often defending with double coverage on the left wing. De Bodt and Hens were the players to stop the danger from the left wing, but that turned out to be more difficult than expected. The alternating runs of Genk’s left-back created more and more danger. The combination of Godts and Rommens was a problem for Dender. 

In the second half, Jong Genk came under increasing pressure, so the attackers were often given the task of coming back. So did Godts but not always decisively. He still lacks some dueling power and defensive positioning. Something not unseen in a young winger. In the heatmap below, you can see that the 17-year-old Belgian was often seen in his own half.

At 1.76 meters, Mika Godts is not the tallest player and that paired with his narrow build seems a risk. The task for the youth international seems to be to work on his physique. And you can see that too, as I said often in his defensive actions.

Rating – A2

With 7 goals and 1 assist in 18 games, the 17-year-old playmaker seemed ready for a step up. Godts was often the outstanding player in the Genk u23 team, as well as being the youngest player on the pitch. A transfer to Ajax is no surprise, although he will be a big loss for Genk. It will be interesting to see Godts working at De Toekomst and later in the first team. Top scouting and top deal.


Jay-Dee Geusens

Player profile:

• Nationality: Belgian

• Age: 20

• Date of birth: 05/03/2002

• Current club: Jong Genk

• Career: KRC Genk (Y)

• Position: Central Midfielder

• Secondary: Attacking Midfielder

• Preferred foot: Right

Jay-Dee Geusens played alongside Evan Rotundo in a two-man midfield this match. At 1m85, he was the more present and physical midfielder of the two (Rotundo: 1m67). He already caught my eye through his minutes into the first team, when you look at his performances within the u23 it quickly becomes clear why he is getting his chance. The Belgian youth international has a solidly built body. This shows well in his duels. He has the necessary strength and guts to go into a duel. Despite his sturdy build, he has an athletic style of play. He has the qualities to make an action, turn open… everything a creative box-to-box midfielder needs.

Geusens is a midfielder who is very often involved in the game. He always gets free well, demands the ball, and distributes play. He is a predominantly right-footed midfielder, which you can also see in his passing. He has the necessary nerve to play a risky pass, that way he also broke FCV Dender’s defensive line a few times. 

In Genk’s game, Geusens was also often sought after, because of his perfect feel for the game he often brings the necessary tempo or calmness to the ball.

At both Jong Genk and in his substitution with the first team, he is the man of the stationary phases. He takes care of corner kicks and (indirect) free-kicks. Despite his good vision and passing, his stationary phases often lacked power.

There are still working points for a young player like him and they are emerging on the defensive front. The midfielder lacks defensive positioning and defensive insight. If he wants to grow into a complete midfielder, that will be the biggest working point.

Rating – A2

The 20-year-old Belgian was given 1 substitute role by Wouter Vrancken this season, but it does not seem to stop there. Geusens is a certainty for the u23s and the future. If 1 of the 2 first-team midfield starters leaves, Hrošovský or Heynen, it does not seem impossible to me that Geusens will be looked at as a successor. 


Tuur Rommens

Player profile:

• Nationality: Belgian

• Age: 19

• Date of birth: 26/03/2003

• Current club: Jong Genk

• Career: KVC Westerlo (Y), KRC Genk (Y)

• Position: Left Back

• Preferred foot: Left

When we talk about a real Genk youth product at the u23s, we quickly look at the left-back position. There we find Tuur Rommens, captain and certainty among the youngsters. Rommens is a left-back that does not only think about defending. He possesses a strong vision and has the qualities of a true leader. He coaches players well, makes himself heard, and gives directives with body language. Below, you can see that the player does not only think about defending.

In this match too, the left-back was good for an assist, the 4th already this season. The combination of quickly resuming play, and sending Godts into free space resulted in the 0-1. Something that eventually proved enough for the 3 points. 

Rommens possesses strong passing and attacking insight. That makes him a good modern back. This is reflected in his play, his good teamwork with Mika Godts makes the left side the most varied for Jong Genk. With an alternation of over- and underlaps, FCV Dender’s defence ran into problems a few times. 

With a muscular build and a length of 1m81, the youth international does not avoid any duel. On the contrary, he always goes into every duel with a lot of power and guts. He was therefore important in the defensive aspect, extracting the danger from several attacks. The main working point for Rommens seems to be his (starting) speed. That became clear in this match. Purely 1:1 defending and in duels at speed, he sometimes lacks precision.

Rating – A2

Rommens was decisive in the outcome of the match and that was not the first time this season. The 19-year-old winger seems ready for a step up. With quality competitors (Preciado, Arteaga…), securing a starting spot seems difficult at the moment. If he can develop his weaknesses and continue to make steps at the u23’s, his performances will certainly not go unnoticed


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