Club Brugge is looking for a new central defender and West Flemish is linked with the arrival of Elias Cobo (Parma). Five years ago, there was also interest from Club Brugge in Kubo, but then West Flemings were overtaken by arch-rivals Anderlecht. Cobbaut was a real transfer of prestige from Sporting at the time, but in the end he couldn’t convince at Lotto Park. In Italy too, he was no longer part of the plans at Parma and had to leave.
Parma is ruthless: Cobo must and will leave
Last year, Parma Calcio 1913 took advantage of the option to buy in Elias Cobbaut’s lease, so they took it over from Anderlecht. The Italian club was happy to pay three million euros for such a permanent transfer, because Cobbaut convincingly performed in his first season at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. Unfortunately, those offers were much lower last season, so the club’s financial investment did not yield the desired result. Fabio Bequia’s position is tough: Kubo must leave Parma and he will leave this summer.
The I Gialloblu coach no longer has a place for the 25-year-old defender both in his starting squad and in the first team. This is despite the presence of Roel Vaeyens, a Belgian who was appointed in May as the cult club’s new sporting president. Italian media reported that Kubo was practically banned from Parma’s sporting image and without Antonio Colak’s injury, the Belgian would not have even taken part during the friendly match against Sassuolo. Cobbaut was the only Parma player who had to go into the “cold” against Sassuolo at the extreme, without the possibility of warming up.
Genk and Club Brugge want Kobo (repeated)
In the last friendly match of preparation against Elche CF, Elias Cobbaut was missing even from selection for Parma’s match. In the Coppa Italia against Bari last Saturday, he was also banned from the stands. This is a clear indication and confirmation that it is no longer part of Fabio Pecchia’s plans, who also used it sparingly in the previous training campaign. Cobbaut was clearly forced out of Emilia-Romagna and in this way the Belgian defender’s two-year spell at Parma appears to have come to an end.
Meanwhile, Elias Cobo is looking for solutions to his difficult situation in Italy and is said to have several options abroad. Italian media reported that there was interest from Greece, France, Turkey and Belgium. Genk and Club Brugge are both reportedly eyeing him to take over. Anyway, Parma don’t want to sell Kobo at a loss and I just want to sell him for at least €3m. Cobbaut is therefore facing a return to Belgium, but that would be a return with mixed feelings.
Coucke reviews Cobbaut’s charisma transfer
In June 2018, RSC Anderlecht brought the defender from KV Mechelen for a substantial base sum of €3 million, to which €500,000 would be added in bonuses. With this impressive transfer fee, Elias Kubo became the second most expensive transfer outgoing from KV Mechelen. Only the sale of Hassan Bandy, who went to Ajax for 8.25 million euros, brought Michelin’s fund even more. Anderlecht thus beat rivals Club Brugge and KRC Genk to Kubo, much to the satisfaction of president Mark Cook.
“Our project is clearly starting to catch on. The fact that one of the biggest Belgian promises consciously chooses RSC Anderlecht is very good news for our fans.” Elias Kubo’s transfer has spread widely through the club’s channels – logically, too: some extra salt in the wound of Club Brugge and KRC Genk. At Cobbaut’s press presentation, chairman Marc Coucke, technical director Luc Devroe and coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck, among others, eagerly posed for a photo. “It says something about our ambitions that a talent like Kubo chooses us,” Devereux said.
In 2019, Elias Cobo reached his highest level at Anderlecht. Partly for this reason, Roberto Martinez brought him to the Red Devils against Russia and Cyprus. Cobbaut was even a title shot against the Cypriots as he played his first game just as well. “Elias has an incredible future,” the national coach said of Kubo’s qualities. He has a style of play that is hard to find. Kubo was an interesting option for Martínez, mainly because he is left footed as a central defender: the national coach did not have many options in that position.
Back to KRC Genk or Club Brugge?
Elias Cobo has been “hot” in Belgium for a long time, but that boom period was short-lived. Due to the Corona outbreak and an ankle fracture, Kubo did not play an official match for Anderlecht for six months. In that period, Hannes Delcroix became an increasingly important pawn in Vincent Kompany’s team, silently making Cobbaut second choice. He wasn’t fully embraced by the supporters and he didn’t have the Anderlecht DNA either. At the time, Vincent Kompany saw Kubo’s qualities as insufficient to meet the coach’s high standards.
That’s why Anderlecht sent Elias Cobo away to Parma Calcio 1913 two years ago, but apparently his adventure there also ends in failure. KRC Genk and Club Brugge are said to be interested in bringing the 25-year-old defender back to Belgium, but it remains to be seen what his added sporting value could be at these two top Belgian clubs. Cobo had a short stint in Belgium, but was soon served by Anderlecht and now Parma as well. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much more than a boost in offer at Genk and Club Brugge.
Club Brugge’s interest is elusive, because the West Flemish wants to attract a central defender in the summer Mercato, who prefers to play in the left-back position. With the departures of Abakar Sylla, Clinton Mata and Jack Hendry, four defenders remain on Ronnie Dela’s squad: Jorn Spellers, Brandon Michel, Dedryck Boyata and Joel Ordonez. Qualitatively speaking, this quartet falls short of the season’s ambitious goals, but with Kubo, perhaps not. Moreover, a transfer between (ex) players from Anderlecht and Club Brugge is always a sensitive matter for fans of both clubs.
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