Gift Orban hasn’t been the same since Tottenham transfer interest

Gift Orban hasn’t been the same since Tottenham transfer interest
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Just a month ago, Gift Orban was a beautiful bride and wanted by many suitors, including Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

The Nigerian striker scored goals for fun and helped his side qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Conference League.

The prolific form of the Belgian striker earned him an invite to the Super Eagles, but despite not featuring in the game against Sao Tome and Principe, it did not hurt his ratings.

Since the close of the transfer market, Gift Orban has not been the same.

The striker has struggled for goals and failed to reenact the form that saw European clubs queuing up for his signature.

What could be the problem with Gift Orban? Could he be reacting to the failed move to Tottenham?

Whatever may be the cause for the slump in form, Gift Orban has to get back to his feet and start doing the business of scoring goals again.

Another bad day at the office for Gift Orban

referee showing gift orban a red card
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Gent is sitting atop the Belgian Pro League with 17 points from seven matches despite playing one game less than their closest rivals – Anderlecht.

Gent has had a relatively straightforward campaign this season, but unlike last season, where the prolific striker scored 20 goals in all competitions, he has been quiet.

At the weekend, Gent consolidated their hold atop the Jupiler Pro league with a 2-1 win over Eupen, but Gift Orban had a game to forget.

The Nigerian forward saw only 44 minutes of action against Eupen before seeing his day cut short.

With Gent searching for an equalizer following a 27th-minute goal by Milos Pantovic, Orban committed an off-the-ball foul that saw him receive his first-ever red card.

Gift Orban had hit an Eupen defender in the face, which led to his sending-off.

Gift Orban's goal stats last season

gift orban having a rough season
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Gift Orban joined KAA Gent on a permanent transfer on January 31 2023 and scored a brace on his Pro League debut in a 3-3 draw with Westerlo on February 11.

He went on a goal-scoring spree, but like it happens to so many strikers, there came a time when the goals dried up.

Gift Orban suffered his longest drought since joining KAA Gent in April 2023.

It was a dry month that saw the Nigerian forward go five games in all competitions without a goal.

The goal drought was from April 8, 2023, in a 1-1 draw with Union SG and stretched till the final game of the season – a 1-2 home loss to KV Ostende.

Gift Orban failed to score in the two-legged affair against West Ham in the UECL.

Orban scored 15 Pro League goals for KAA Gent and five in other competitions.

Gift Orban goals 2022/23 season

Competition Matchday H/A For Opponent Result Minute At score
Pro League 25 A KAA Gent KVC Westerlo 3:3 30′ 1:2
Pro League 25 A KAA Gent KVC Westerlo 3:3 66′ 3:3
UECL Intermediate stage H KAA Gent Qarabağ FK 6:3 pens 74′ 1:0
Pro League 28 H KAA Gent Anderlecht 1:0 57′ 1:0
UECL last 16 H KAA Gent Basaksehir FK 1:1 35′ 1:1
Pro League 29 A KAA Gent Z. Waregem 2:6 53′ 1:3
Pro League 29 A KAA Gent Z. Waregem 2:6 68′ 2:4
Pro League 29 A KAA Gent Z. Waregem 2:6 75′ 2:5
Pro League 29 A KAA Gent Z. Waregem 2:6 83′ 2:6
UECL last 16 A KAA Gent Basaksehir FK 1:4 31′ 0:1
UECL last 16 A KAA Gent Basaksehir FK 1:4 32′ 0:2
UECL last 16 A KAA Gent Basaksehir FK 1:4 34′ 0:3
Pro League 31 A KAA Gent RFC Seraing 0:5 18′ 0:1
Pro League 31 A KAA Gent RFC Seraing 0:5 52′ 0:2
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 1 H KAA Gent KVC Westerlo 3:1 88′ 3:1
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 2 A KAA Gent Standard Liège 1:2 31′ 0:1
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 3 A KAA Gent Cercle Brugge 0:4 51′ 0:2
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 3 A KAA Gent Cercle Brugge 0:4 64′ 0:3
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 3 A KAA Gent Cercle Brugge 0:4 67 0:4
Pro League Europe Play-Offs 4 H KAA Gent Cercle Brugge 2:2 49′ 1:1

Poor stats in the 2023/24 season

gift orban after his red card
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Failing to score in the final games of last season, Orban started the season with a bang, opening his account against MSK Zilina in the UECL qualifiers.

He scored once as Gent beat their opponents 5-1 to qualify for the next round.

The Nigerian forward has found the going arduous and wants to rediscover his form again.

He has scored two league goals this term and four in the UECL.

The curious thing about the Nigerian striker is that he is yet to score any goal away from home this season, with his strike partner Hugo Cuypers leading the way for the club.

Cuypers has not fared much better, as he has three league goals.

With Orban set for time on the sidelines following his red card against Eupen, it should afford him time to relax and get back into his flow.

Perhaps he needs a psychologist to help clear the cobwebs in his head, as the goal frustration probably led to his lashing out and eventual red card.

Gift Orban has beaten his goal drought record of last season, which stood at five games. He is currently on a six-game run without scoring a goal.

Gift Orban goals 2023/24 season
Competition Matchday H/A For Opponent Result Minute At score
UECL Qualifiers 2nd Round H KAA Gent MSK Zilina 5:1 23′ 1:0
Pro League 1 H KAA Gent KV Kortrijk 3:2 71′ 3:1
UECL Qualifiers 3rd round H KAA Gent Pogon Szczecin 5:0 13′ 1:0
UECL Qualifiers 3rd round H KAA Gent Pogon Szczecin 5:0 36′ 2:0
UECL Qualifiers 3rd round H KAA Gent Pogon Szczecin 5:0 64′ 5:0
Pro League 4 H KAA Gent Sint-Truiden 2:2 35′ 1:2

Gift Orban's goal droughts

LONGEST GOAL DROUGHT AT KAA GENT 2022/23

FIVE GAMES

Date Competition Home Result Away
08/04/23 Pro League KAA Gent 1-1 Union SG
13/04/23 UECL Quarter-Finals KAA Gent 1-1 West Ham
16/04/23 Pro League KV Mechelen 1-1 KAA Gent
20/04/23 UECL Quarter-Finals West Ham 4-1 KAA Gent
23/04/23 Pro League KAA Gent 1-2 KV Oostende

 

LONGEST GOAL DROUGHT AT KAA GENT 2023/24

SIX GAMES

Date Competition Home Result Away
24/08/23 UECL Qualifying Round KAA Gent 2-0 APOEL Nicosia
31/08/23 UECL Qualifying Round APOEL Nicosia 1-2 KAA Gent
03/09/23 Pro League KAA Gent 2-1 Club Brugge
17/09/23 Pro League OH Leuven 1-1 KAA Gent
21/09/23 UECL Group Stage Zorya Lugansk 1-1 KAA Gent
24/09/23 Pro League KAA Gent 1-2 KAS Eupen

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).