Standard Liege made the transaction of triggering their option to retain three TP Mazembe players who were sent on loan. Jonathan Bolingi, Merveille Bope and Christian Luyindama will not be returning to five-time African champions TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but will rather stay to develop with the Belgian champions. “Christian, Jonathan and Merveille have integrated well into our professional team and have had the opportunity to show their qualities both in the training sessions and in the official matches they have played,” said Olivier Renard, sporting director for Standard Liege.
Bolingi is 22 years old and began his career with TP Mazembe in 2014 before being sent on loan to Standard Liege earlier this year. He has made ten appearances with the Congolese national team and been very effective. During the 2016 African Nations Championship, he was a key part of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tournament victory, scoring three goals for the squad along the way. That included a 73rd minute goal in the final 3-0 victory over Mali. He also scored goals in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers over Angola and the Central Africa Republic, as well as in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Libya. Bolingi appeared in six games for Standard Liege.
Like Bolingi, the 24-year-old Bope began his professional career with TP Mazembe in 2014. He later made eight total appearances with the national under-21 and senior teams before being sent out on loan to Standard Liege, where he only appeared in two games. Luyindama is the most experienced of the three, making his debut with Daring Club Motema Pembe in 2012 and playing for SM Sanga Balenda before signing with TP Mazembe in 2015. In five appearances with Standard Liege, he did record one goal.