Genk's impressive XI of former players ahead of their clash with Liverpool

KRC Genk v K. Beerschot AC - Belgian Jupiler Pro League

It certainly hasn’t been plain sailing for defending champions Liverpool in the Champions League this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side lost their opener to Napoli 2-0 before having an almighty scare at home to Red Bull Salzburg.

The Reds were 3-0 up after 35 minutes before the Austrian side produced an incredible second-half comeback to make it 3-3.

Mohamed Salah eventually sealed a nervy win for the six-time champions.

Now, Liverpool face a double-header against the weakest side in Group E, Genk.

The Belgians lost 6-2 against Red Bull Salzburg before achieving a respectable 0-0 draw against Napoli.

While this current Genk side may not be able to beat Liverpool, an XI of their former players almost certainly could.

So, GIVEMESPORT have decided to look at what sort of team Genk could field if they hadn’t sold any of their star players in recent years.

Ok, we’re fully aware that not selling their star players simply isn’t realistic but it’s just interesting to see the XI Genk *could* have had.

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GK | Thibaut Courtois

Courtois was just seven when he joined Genk, making his first-team debut at the age of 16.

But it was during the 2010/11 campaign that Courtois became the club’s No.1. He helped Genk win the Belgian Pro League, picking up the Goalkeeper of the Year award and the club’s Player of the Year award, conceding just 32 goals in 40 league matches and keeping 14 clean sheets.

That saw Chelsea sign him for £8m but he spent the next three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Four years as Chelsea’s goalkeeper followed before a move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2018.

KRC Genk v KFC Germinal Beerschot - Jupiler Pro League

DF | Timothy Castagne

The 23-year-old defender spent two seasons playing first-team football for Genk before joining Serie A side Atalanta in the summer of 2017.

He’s scored twice in six appearances for Belgium.

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DF | Christian Kabasele

Kabasele spent the 2014/15 and 2015/16 season at Genk, making 76 league appearances.

His performances for the Belgian side saw Watford snap him up.

KAA Gent v KRC Genk - Jupiler League

DF | Kalidou Koulibaly

One of the best defenders in world football right now.

Genk signed Koulibaly from French side Metz and the Senegalese spent two seasons in Belgium.

Koulibaly then joined Napoli in the summer of 2014 for just £6.5 million. He’s easily worth ten times that amount right now.

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RM | Yannick Carrasco

We’re cheating a little bit here because Carrasco never actually made a senior appearance for Genk. He did, however, spend five years in their academy before moving to Monaco.

After three years in France, he earned an £18 million move to Atletico Madrid. His highlight at Atleti was scoring a late equaliser in the 2016 Champions League final against Real Madrid - although Atleti went on to lose on penalties.

In February 2018, he moved to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang where the 26-year-old has scored 21 goals in 46 matches.

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CM | Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

The Serb has been linked with a big move away from Lazio for many years but remains at the Serie A club.

Lazio signed the 24-year-old from Genk in the summer of 2015, after just one season in Belgium where he scored five goals in 24 matches.

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CM | Wilfred Ndidi

The 22-year-old Leicester midfielder is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League right now.

Before the Foxes signed him for £17 million in January 2017, Ndidi played 83 times for Genk.

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LM | Leon Bailey 

Another exciting talent who spent two years at Genk before being snapped up by a bigger club.

The Jamaican played 77 times for Genk before Bayer Leverkusen signed him for £17 million.

Still only 22, Bailey looks set to have a very exciting future ahead of him.

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CAM | Kevin de Bruyne

De Bruyne spent longer than most at Genk - making 113 appearances in four years - and helping them win the Belgian league, the Belgian Cup and the Belgian Super Cup.

He moved to Chelsea for £7 million but it never quite worked out for him at Stamford Bridge.

But he starred in Germany - first on loan at Werder Bremen before joining Wolfsburg for £18 million.

Eyebrows were raised when Manchester City spent £55 million on him in the summer of 2015 but it’s been money very well spent.

De Bruyne has won two Premier League titles and has established himself as one of the best midfielders in world football.

KRC Genk vs KAA Gent - Jupiler League

ST | Leandro Trossard

Genk’s longest-serving player in this list.

Trossard was 16 when he joined the club’s academy and, despite numerous loan spells, made 120 appearances for Genk.

After 22 goals last season, Brighton signed him for £15 million.

SOCCER JPL PO1 D4 KRC GENK VS CLUB BRUGGE

ST | Divock Origi

Origi will face his former club tonight - if he’s not replaced by the returning Mohamed Salah.

However, like Carrasco, Origi failed to make a first-team appearance for the club he joined as a six-year-old.

Instead, he signed for Lille at 15.

Three seasons later, he was signed by Liverpool for £10 million.

Not Liverpool’s most talented attacker but he’ll always be remembered on Merseyside for those two goals against Barcelona in last season’s Champions League semi-final and then his strike in the final against Tottenham.

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