Tuesday, October 20

Luqman Hakim completes move to Belgian top tier club

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Luqman Hakim holds his new club’s jersey with Tan (left) and Gregoire. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian teen sensation Luqman Hakim Shamsudin yesterday completed his move to Belgian club KV Kortrijk on a five-year deal after months of pushing for a departure from Selangor.

Luqman Hakim, who turned 18 in March, will be the first Malaysian to play in the Belgian First Division A and is expected to earn around RM20,000 to RM23,000 monthly at the club.

The young forward will also be provided with an apartment and a car.

He was introduced as a De Kerels (The Guys) player at a signing ceremony here, which was attended by business tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who is also KV Kortrijk owner, Belgian Ambassador to Malaysia Pascal H Gregoire and Football Association of Selangor secretary-general Dr Johan Kamal Hamidon.

“Great occasion for Malaysian football, this might be the first Malaysian playing in Europe and first Malaysian playing in the Belgium premier league,” Tan told a press conference.

“It’s a big decision for the club, the management thinks its too early but as an owner I said give him (Luqman Hakim) a chance.”

Luqman Hakim, who is a key player for the national Under-19 squad, is expected to undergo a medical next week at the club ahead of the new season scheduled to start this month.

The top scorer of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship 2018 is delighted to finally join the Belgian side after months of protracted talks, including reports linking him with several European clubs.

“I am very proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to play there. So I hope Malaysians will pray that I can be at my 100 per cent,” said the Kota Bharu-born player.

Luqman Hakim was to undergo a three-month training from January at English Championship club Cardiff City, which is also owned by Tan, but was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic that had forced most of the countries to close their borders.

The striker has made the Guardian’s annual list of Next Generation’s 60 of the world’s best young talent and is also one of the 80 young talents around the world preliminarily listed for this year’s Golden Boy award. — Bernama