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Openda at Lens

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He’s got strength, he’s got pace and he’s got a deadly shot in him. We are talking about Belgium International forward Lois Openda. He is just 22 years of age and has already shown so much potential. This summer, Openda made the move to RC Lens from Club Brugge in a reported €10m deal. 

The Belgian left Club Brugge, who had loaned him out for the past two seasons to Dutch side SBV Vitesse in the Eredivisie. His time at Vitesse caught the attention of scouts at Lens. Openda has been nothing short of sensational in the past two years in the Eredivisie. He has so many attributes to his game and could bring a lot to an RC Lens team, which caught the eye of the public because of an impressive 21/22 season.

RC Lens finished 7th in the Ligue 1 table last season. They had many players who gave outstanding performances throughout the entire season. Jonathan Clauss and Seko Fofana are two such examples. With Johnathan Clauss leaving for Marseille, Lens had to make some signings to improve their squad. The French team also signed Alexis Claude-Maurice, Simon Banza, Brice Samba and Adam Buksa this season.

The fans were especially excited about their club signing Lois Openda. Let’s take a look at his youth career, his playstyle and everything he offers to this fantastic Lens side.


How good is Lois Openda? 

Ikoma Lois Openda made his youth debut for Patro Othee FC and RFC Liège before joining Standard Liège youth academy. In 2015, he moved to the academy of Club Brugge, where he made his senior debut on 10 August 2018 in the Belgian Pro League. He stayed there for a couple of seasons before going out on a season-long loan to Dutch side SBV Vitesse in 2020.

At Vitesse, Openda established himself and became a fan favourite. With him, Vitesse reached the final of the KNVB Cup, but lost 1–2 to Ajax, where Openda scored the only goal for them. He rejoined the side on another season-long loan in the 2021/22 season which had been the best season of his career so far. 


Lois Openda stats

Openda finished last season as the second-highest goal scorer in the Eredivisie with 18 goals, only behind Sebastien Haller with 21 goals. That in itself is enough validation for what an amazing striker he is. 

In his first season at Vitesse in 20/21, he played 38 games in all competitions, scoring 13 times, with 5 assists as well. That was his breakout season where he got implemented into any team’s starting eleven. He had a lot to learn, a lot of experience to gather and some very important aspects to improve on.

The 2021/22 season was where he put his learnings to test and it went extremely well for the Belgian. Openda scored 24 goals and assisted 6 times across all competitions in 50 games. These numbers for a 22-year-old are impressive and this is what made Lens target him. 


Lois Openda scout report

When it comes to analysing Openda’s playstyle, he can be best described as a central forward who can play as a winger on either side. He is not a target man who just sits and waits for the ball to be passed to him. He gets deep in the midfield to get the ball and when he does have the ball on him, he likes to dribble. He is an excellent dribbler and it is one of his best attributes. This helps him play on the wing too. Whether he is attacking centrally or from the sides, he effortlessly dribbles the ball around, gets it on his strong foot, before passing it to a teammate or taking a shot.

He offers a lot of counter-attacking threat and he never disappoints with his finishing ability. He was one of the best finishers in the Eredivisie last season, finishing as runner-up in the race for the Golden Boot. When it comes to his passing, he likes to play the ball off the ground often. 

He wins a lot of set-pieces for the team since he gets fouled very often. The defenders can’t cope with his acceleration as soon as he gets the ball. There are some areas where he can improve his game, two of those being his passing ability and offside awareness. Sometimes he rushes too fast too early and is easy to get caught in the offside trap. That is one of the only ways to beat him, he is that good.



Lois Openda at RC Lens

The start to Openda’s new life in France has been off to a flying start. The Belgian has already scored 4 times in just 7 appearances for the club. He is proving to be a great asset for them. The team itself is performing very together as a unit.

His godspeed, agility, and finishing is proving as useful for Lens as it did back in the Netherlands if not better. He might help Lens finally find their way into European football this season. A player that good at just 22 years of age, who has so much more to learn and competing at this level, so better at his counterparts at this age is just potential waiting to be unleashed over years to come.

Aditya Kochhar
A true Red Devil, who has idolised David de Gea for more than a decade. He loves watching conspiracy documentaries, writing poetry and food. He claims to be a God-tier FIFA player and can be seen occasionally ranting while playing it.

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