Enes Ünal’s £2m move from Bursaspor to City last summer was greeted with a lot of hype and some incredible stats of his feats at youth level.
Ünal’s youth record: U14 level: 48 games, 62 goals U15 level: 24 games, 56 goals U16 level: 34 games, 55 goals U18 level: 2 games, 8 goals
— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 6, 2015
The Turkish striker, already capped once at senior level, looked quite cumbersome in his pre-season friendlies for the Blues, but was clearly seen in as one for the future. 18-year-old Ünal was then shipped off to Belgian side Racing Genk on a 2-year loan deal and given the number 9 shirt.
Enes Unal with his Racing Genk shirt after joining the Jupiler League side on a 2-year loan from City. pic.twitter.com/DMTswOH1fW
— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 31, 2015
What seemed like a perfect move for Ünal hasn’t gone so well, however. He last played 90 minutes for Genk on November 8 away at Club Brugge and has since played just 47 minutes in eight league matches. He wasn’t even in the squad for Genk’s most recent games against Zulte Waregem, Standard Liege (cup) and KV Mechelen. In fourteen appearances (amounting to 450 minutes), he has managed only two goals – one in the league and one in the cup.
Rather than wasting away on the bench at the age of 18, another loan move looks like the best option for Ünal and according to HBVL – reliable for Genk news – he is close to joining NAC Breda on loan.
NAC Breda were relegated from the Dutch Eredivisie last season and currently sit 3rd in the Eerste Divisie, so promotion is a real possibility and adding Ünal would give them the added firepower they reportedly want. NAC’s recently appointed technical manager Hans Smulders said in an interview that the club are confident of recruiting Ünal on a loan deal before the end of January.
Moving from a prominent Belgian side to the Dutch second tier does look like a step down for Ünal, but at the age of 18 the most important thing is developing and scoring goals. And there are few leagues in which the goals fly in more than the Eerste Divisie – a betting man’s favourite for Over 2.5 Goal bets!