Paul Onuachu completed a move to Southampton from Genk towards the end of the winter market.

Genk technical director Dimitri de Condé has told De Morgen that his side were unable to prevent the striker from leaving the club.

The Jupiler Pro League side’s chief stressed there was an agreement in place with the 28-year-old to sell him, and that saw his move to Southampton.

Genk have failed to impress after the Nigeria international’s departure, picking up only six points from their last six league games.

When asked if the decision to let the frontman join the Saints had an impact on Genk’s results, De Condé backed the club’s decision to cash in from his sale in January.

“We knew for two years that a departure for Paul would be a loss. That just makes perfect sense. Someone with his stats, who was Golden Boot, who scored goals, who broke club records, you will always miss. Paul was a phenomenon,” he said.

“We also knew that he would leave one day. Agreements had been made and from a human point of view you couldn’t stop that. We still stand by our decision.

“We focus on the guys who are still there and still have a very strong group. At the beginning of the season, we took points without Paul and now we’re taking our points as well. Samatta didn’t do too bad and we were unlucky that Tolu got injured shortly after his arrival. That’s part of football. We hope to be able to count on him again in the play-offs.”

Onuachu scored 16 goals from 19 league matches for Genk this season, but has not been able to replicate the same form for Southampton. He’s made six league appearances and is yet to score in the Premier League.

Earlier this month, Het Nieuwsblad journalist Ludo Vandewalle labelled Onuachu’s transfer to Southampton as an ‘inevitable disaster’.