Former Burnley and Middlesbrough striker closing in on milestone for Zulte Waregem

Jelle Vossen has, in Belgium at least, scored goals wherever he has been. The 35-year-old striker scored 48 goals in 141 games for Club Brugge and over 100 goals in 248 games for Genk. He is closing in on 50 for Zulte Waregem in 128 games, which would make them the team he has scored the second most goals for. The only blip in his career so far was in England where he only managed nine goals in 45 games for Middlesbrough and a very very brief spell at Burnley.

Despite Zulte Waregem’s relegation to the second tier of Belgian football, Vossen decided to stay and help them bounce back at the first time of asking. While the team started the season well, they have petered off and are now looking set for having to fight their way through the play-offs to gain promotion. Vossen hasn’t slowed down however, with 13 goals in 26 games across league and cup. He is already the sides second top scorer in their history with 48, 12 ahead of Zinho Gano who is the only one in the top 10 who is still playing for the club. With the Guinea-Bissau internationals contract up in the summer and the prospect of him extending unlikely, Vossen looks safe in second place.

However, even though Vossen’s own deal runs until the end of the 2024/2025 season, it is unlikely that he will be able to usurp Mbaye Leye in first place. The Senegalese forward has since hung up his boots and gone into management, with his current role being to try and keep Seraing in the Belgian second tier after they were also relegated from the Pro League last season. In 201 games for Zulte Waregem, Leye scored an impressive 87 goals. He helped them win the cup in 2017.

With three games left and the prospects of the play-offs, Vossen may well have a chance of hitting the 50 in the coming weeks. Either way, if he is still there next season it is almost a guarantee that he will score the two goals he needs.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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