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Kelvin John: Tanzanian youngster signs for KRC Genk

7:03 AM EDT 6/26/21
Tanzania Kelvin John signs for KRC Genk.
The 18-year-old has signed a three year deal and becomes the second Tanzanian player after Mbwana Samatta to play for the side

Tanzanian youngster Kelvin John has sealed a transfer to KRC Genk of Belgium.

According to the club, John, who is nicknamed Mbappe, has penned a three-year contract that will see him serve the club until 2024.

“KRC Genk has attracted Tanzanian attacker Kelvin John (18),” the club said in a statement on their official website. “He has signed a contract for three seasons, until mid-2024, with an option for two additional seasons.

“Kelvin John is considered a great talent, is physically strong and fast. With the youth selections of Tanzania, he impressed at every major tournament. It earned him the nickname 'the Tanzanian Mbappé'.

“He was only 15 and already shone in the Africa Cup U17 and barely 16-year-old he was in the preselection for the 'real' Africa Cup. Kelvin was tipped off to the club by Ally Samatta a few years ago.”

The statement continued: “Until recently he was active in the reputed Brooke House Football Academy in Leicester. He had to wait until his eighteenth birthday earlier this month to sign a professional contract in Europe. That has now happened.

“Kelvin John starts the preparation with the A-squad under coach John van den Brom. We are looking forward to it!”

John has now become the second Tanzanian to feature for the Belgian giants after former Simba and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe ace striker Mbwana Samatta.

The latter player joined Genk in 2016, then parted ways with the club to sign for Aston Villa in the Premier League but after only a season, he was loaned out to Turkish side Fenerbahce.

John was part of the Serengeti Boys squad that featured at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 and his performance attracted the attention of Nigerian Emmanuel Amunike, who was the head coach of the senior national team then.

Amunike later summoned the player in the provisional squad that prepared for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt despite not making the cut on the final squad.