Ten key moves during latest KPL transfer window
Football Kenya Federation transfer season was relatively busy with Kenyan Premier League teams falling over each other to snap up quality players to beef up their squads. The league was halted in March by the federation after the onset of Covid-19. The summer transfer window officially closed on Friday, November 6, 2020 and now People Daily’s CHARLES THUKU takes a look at the top 10 key transfers ahead of the season which is tentatively set to kick off on November 21.
1. Juma Lawrence - Gor Mahia to Sofapaka
He could be described as the most expensive signing in the latest transfer window as word has it that a signing fee of Sh2.8 million was splashed for his services by his new employers.
Juma was in the best form last season with Gor and is by all accounts a remarkable talent also for Harambee Stars.
He is an excellent midfielder who is capable of holding his own at the tightest of situations which every coach would be happy about.
For Sofapaka, they should rest assured that they stand to reap the fruits of the player’s hard work and dedication which endeared him to the Green Army faithful.
2. Micheal Kibwage - KCB to Sofapaka
Arguably the second most expensive player in the transfer window as it believed to have earned a signing fee of Sh 2.5m, the decamping of KCB skipper Michael Kibwage to Sofapaka might have hit the former like a thunderbolt given his influential role in the heart of the defense.
Many considered Kibwage as the engine of KCB defence last season due to his command of the department in a free flowing manner, making the goalkeeper have the easiest of tasks.
Besides, he is strong, fast and lethal both in ground and aerial duels and as such, one should expect Sofapaka rearguard to be one of the hardest to beat in the forthcoming season.
3. Steve Waruru - KCB to Bidco United
KPL newbies Bidco United of Thika must be rubbing their hands with glee as they prepare to meet more experienced sides and especially after signing hot-shot Waruru from KCB.
The ex-Kenya international and former league top scorer joins Bidco with a wealth of experience having previously featured for KPL sides Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka.
4. Duncan Otieno - Nkana FC (Zambia) to AFC Leopards
Despite testing waters in the Zambian Premier League where he featured for Nkana, Otieno lived up to his promise that he would one day return to Kenyan football.
Well, the offensive midfield has returned back to the den in a bid to help the big cats reclaim the title which they last won in 1998.
Dunco, as he is popularly known as, can do almost anything with the ball including the ability to cruise throughout the pitch and is expected to be a big asset to Ingwe.
5. Cercidy ‘Carrick’ Okeyo - Sofapaka to Mathare United
Okeyo is rated as one of the most consistent midfielders in KPL and has a game reading ability and composure.
Just like Waruru, the former Tusker and Gor Mahia midfielder is expected to use his experience to propel the Slum Boys to the silverware that has eluded them since 2008.
He had an outstanding season with Sofapaka last season but opted to seek more challenges and, yes, he is one of the players tipped to excel at Mathare.
6. Jules Ulimwengu - Rayon Sport (Rwanda) to Gor Mahia.
The Burundian is a sublime talent in attack that Gor Mahia has all along been looking for after the departure of Rwandan duo of Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge.
Ulimwengu scored 12 goals in the 2018/19 Azam Rwanda Premier League and inspired Rayon to their ninth league title in May 2020.
The club also booked a ticket to take part in the CAF Champions League next season.
He is agile in front of goal and his contribution will no doubt be vital for Gor as the team seeks for an unprecedented 20th KPL gong.
7. Harrison Mwendwa - Kariobangi Sharks to AFC Leopards
It is a rule of thumb for the Jamhuri High School alumnus to torment defence lines from midfield as he did when he was parading for Kariobangi Sharks in the top tier league last season.
Leopards had desperately been searching for the pacy midfielder and were lucky that he finally put pen to paper in a two-year contract.
Mwendwa, who will don jersey No. 7 at the den, has promised to help Leopards to win trophies by giving his best on the pitch.
8. Boniface Omondi - Gor Mahia to Wazito.
There is no gainsaying that getting goals is what matters in the beautiful game and this is what Omondi did almost with precision while turning out for K’Ogalo last season.
A rampaging menace, Omondi can weave through his markers, making them look foolish and such qualities are what he hopes to replicate at the money bags that are Wazito FC.
Omondi who has previously has a stint with Nzoia Sugar had a rock solid performance with Gor last season and many might be wondering why he was not summoned in Harambee Stars for the 2022 Afcon qualifiers.
9. Kevin Kimani -Mathare United to Wazito.
The Influential midfielder who began his career at KCB prior to a spell with Mathare United has magical skills and flair of passing the ball to create space for strikers to score.
The midfielder who had short spells with South African team Jomo Cosmos and AFC Leopards has an exquisite touch which is bound to fit well with Wazito’s pattern.
At Mathare, he led from the front in midfield and his exploits could not go unnoticed by Wazito who signed him up for unspecified period.
10. Dickson Raila - Masawa FC to Gor Mahia.
Raila is a player who is the talk amongst Gor Mahia fans due to his goal-scoring prowess.
The prodigious striker, who shares a name with opposition leader Raila Odinga, is already tipped to be the next Olunga (Michael) in the Kenyan game as he makes scoring seem so easy.
A sublime goal-poacher, Raila will fight for striking positions with another youngster Benson Omala, who was acquired from Western Stima, Clinton Okoth and Burundian Jules Ulimwengu. His target is to plunder at least 20 goals in the upcoming KPL season.