Belgian Pro League 2023/2024 season preview: KV Mechelen

KV Mechelen’s cup final appearance was the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing campaign. Usually a side that punch above their weight and battle it out for play-off football, Mechelen were way off the pace and looking over their shoulder for the entirety of the season. They did manage, thanks to the excellent Geoffry Hairemans, to avoid relegation worries, but they are another side who needed a good summer to reverse their fortunes.

Head coach: Steven Defour (Returning)

Transfers in: Mory Konate (Sint-Truiden), Daam Foulon (Benevento), Lion Lauberbach (Eintracht Braunschweig), Rafik Belghali (Lommel SK)

Transfers out: Arno Valkenaers (La Louvière), Alessio Da Cruz (Feralpisalò), Iebe Swers (Oatro Eisden), Lucas Bijker (Free), Gaetan Bosiers (Free).

Player to watch: Nikola Storm

Last summer, not many would have seen Nikola Storm still at KV Mechelen a year later. However, he had a poor season by his high standards. At 28-years-old, if he has any ambition of moving to a ‘bigger’ side, he needs to have a strong 2023/2024 season. He certainly has the quality, and for Mechelen if he has a strong season that should help their fortunes as well.

Transfer needs:

While the starting XI is by no means bad, some positions could do with a few more options. Adding some more wide players would be useful, as the side have always had strong wingers. After Storm and Hairemans, there aren’t many options. Kerim Mrabti can play out wide, but he is better in the central areas.


Mechelen should have enough to avoid the bottom four, but that depends on players in the squad playing to their potential. They underperformed last season, but don’t expect them to be suddenly challenging for the top six. Avoiding the bottom four should be more than achievable for Defour’s side.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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