AFC Ajax have signed prolific goalscorer Wesley Sonck from Belgian side KRC Genk for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old Belgian international striker, who had just one year remaining on his contract, has signed a five-year deal that will keep him at the Amsterdam ArenA until 2008.
Enthusiastic about the switch, Sonck said: "I came for a place in the first team - that's what I understood after talking to coach Ronald Koeman. He was looking for a striker who can score many goals in the national league (Eredivisie)."
The statistics suggest Koeman may have found the right man - Sonck has scored 53 league goals in 61 appearances over the past two seasons for Genk, as well as notching seven goals on the international stage since making his debut in June 2001. Last season the striker made history by finding the net a remarkable six times in Genk's 9-0 league victory against KV Mechelen, the game after scoring the equaliser in the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw against Real Madrid CF.
Sonck has been replaced at Genk by 21-year-old Sierre Leone forward Paul Kpaka, who moves from KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen, the Belgian club linked with Ajax, as part of the transfer. Kpaka's scoring record is similarly impressive, having racked up 45 league strikes in 59 games for the Antwerp club since moving there from RWD Molenbeek in 2001.
Kpaka, who is still recovering from a cruciate ligament injury which required surgery in April, said: "Genk is a club you dream about as a player. It is a beautiful challenge for a young player like me. If everything goes as planned, I will be able to play again in September."
Kpaka will be joined at Genk by South African centre-half Aaron Mokoena, 22, who had been on loan at Germinal Beerschot from Ajax for the past two seasons but has moved to Genk on a permanent basis as part of the Sonck deal.
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