'He is a very good and correct guy' - Gent coach insists Gift Orban is not an enfant terriblePublished: May 06, 2023
KAA Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck has leapt to the defence of Gift Orban after the striker came under criticism for his behaviour after the 3-1 win over KVC Westerlo in the Jupiler League playoff on April 28.
The 20-year-old was left on the bench for 76 minutes by Vanhaezebrouck with Moroccan forward Tarik Tissoudali preferred over him in a 3-5-2 formation.
He came on for Tissoudali and scored Gent's third goal after he was teed up by his strike partner, Hugo Cuypers.
After the game, Orban was furious over his bench role and headed straight to the dressing room instead of appreciating the fans with his teammates after the encounter.
Orban's behavior has been questioned by the media and fans in Belgium, and he is being compared to Didier Lamkel Zé, who turned up to training two years ago wearing an Anderlecht shirt in an attempt to force a move away from Royal Antwerp.
Facing the media ahead of his side's playoff tie with Standard Liege, Vanhaezebrouck was quoted as saying by Sporza : "Gift really isn't like that.
"On the contrary. He's the best young centre-forward I've ever worked with, and I've already seen a number of them pass by.
"I've never seen a greater talent in that position. In fact : It is the best young center forward we have had in years in the Jupiler Pro League.
"There is certainly still some work to be done, also playing football. But the image that is now being painted of him, that he will need heavy guidance, has been ripped from the pot. He is a very good and correct guy."
Orban was on a five-game goal drought before ending his dry spell in front of goal against KVC Westerlo.
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