Olunga to out-earn Mandzukic at Al Duhail

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenyan international striker Michael Olunga.

If the grapevine is to be believed, Kenyan international striker Michael Olunga might have just hit the jackpot with his big money move to Qatari top flight side Al Duhail SC.

It is said that Olunga will replace Croatian star Mario Mandzukic who moved to La Liga and that he is set to outmatch the former Juventus man’s weekly salary at the club estimated at 7.5 million Euros annually (Sh83,750,000 monthly/Sh20,937,500 weekly).

This will arguably put him well ahead of any East African footballer playing abroad in earnings. 

The former Tusker FC and Gor Mahia FC player’s current  club, Kashiwa Reysol, has reportedly accepted a transfer fee of seven million Euros (Sh890 million) after what has been a stellar two years in the Japanese J1 League. 

Olunga, fondly known as Engineer by Kenyans, finished as the top scorer in the 2020 Japanese J1 League with 28 goals, winning the Golden boot and the MVP award. 

He is the first African player to win the J1 League MVP award after playing 32 games for his team in a successful season.

Before tearing the Japanese top league apart, Olunga had played for Thika United and Tusker in Kenya.

He also played for Girona in Spain’s La Liga in the 2017-18 season on loan from Chinese side Guizhou Zhicheng where scored a hattrick against Las Palmas but failed to nail down a regular starting spot.

The 26-year-old mercurial striker beat Brazilian Everaldo Stum of Kashima Antlers  to the MVP gong, joining top foreigners that have graced that league before such as former Brazilian internationals Dunga and Leonardo and ex-Barcelona legend and Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta. 

Olunga, interestingly, has had better success in the Japanese top tier compared to former Arsenal and  Germany international Lukas Podolski and Freddie Ljungberg who played at Shimizu Abe. 

He is now in the ranks of, perhaps, Cameroonian legend Patrick Mboma who played for Gamba Osaka and in his first season notched 25 goals in 28 matches.

He has also bests former Uruguayan international and Manchester United striker Diego Forlan who had 18 goals  for Cerezo Osaka in his early 2000s career. 

A leaked photo of the player in the Al Duhail jersey has already been revealed by Qatar Star League News.

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