When Union St Gilloise lost Dante Vanzeir to New York Red Bulls in January, many wondered how they would replace him. In 91 games for the Brussels club the Belgian had scored 48 goals. He had been a pivotal part of their return to the Belgian top flight and the subsequent battle for the title. Yorbe Vertessen was brought in on loan as an immediate replacement, but this summer Union appear to have found their new Vanzeir.
In August, the side signed Algerian international Mohamed Amoura from Lugano in Switzerland. The former ES Setif man had scored 17 goals in 66 games for the Swiss side. He also has eight goals in 16 games for the national team. So far, Amoura has played four games for Union and has already scored three goals. Yet, while the goals are certainly a bonus, it is his style of play that is reminiscent of Vanzeir.
Both are similar in stature, as well as how they operate. Vanzeir worked well with both Deniz Undav and Victor Boniface, and it is the second type of deadly duo that the club appear to be going for. With the tall Gustaff Nilsson, Amoura is able to play off his strike partner and be the more mobile forward. He has shown an ability to run the channel well, as well as to press from the front. His finishing still does need some work, despite the already impressive goal scoring record. However, Vanzeir was by no means the most clinical of strikers.
Once again, Union have been able to replace a key player without breaking the bank. It remains to be seen whether Kevin Rodriguez will be able to replace the goals and playing style of Victor Boniface when he fully adapts to the Belgian Pro League. Against RWDM, it was the Ecuadorian’s great run and pass which set up the winner for Loïc Lapoussin.