KPL promises to be tough as top players return home

By GILBERT WANDERA

The current transfer window of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has seen a significant number of top players returning home in what promises to be an interesting and competitive season.

On Saturday, Jamal Mohammed resigned for Mathare United after a brief stint at Romanian side Targu Mures.

Mohammed, a national team midfielder, first played for United five years ago before leaving to turn professional in the Scandanavian countries where he turned out for several clubs in Sweden.

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After about three years in Sweden, Mohammed remained clubless for about one season as he waited for an opportunity and last year joined the Romanian side.

But he had a hard time at Mures failing to hold down a position in the team.

Also rejoining his former club is national team defender James Situma whose move to FK Tirana from Albania flopped.

Situma had joined the club at the end of last season on a Sh7million two-year contract deal.

However, three months into the deal, Situma was forced to come back home initially to renew his visa.

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This was never to be as he failed to get the document on time and changes in the club ownership meant that he could not go back and, therefore, had to return home.

Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa explained that the Tirana deal failed after the team was handed over to the local authority in Albania.

"They had not paid us the transfer fee and did not honour their contractual obligations with Situma, so it was only fair for him to come back home," he said.

The same predicament also affected Thika United hitman Moses Arita. Arita abruptly left his club towards the end of last season, hoping to join Situma at the Albania side.

He did not stay even for one month and must be regretting that he did not stay long enough at the Thika side to emerge the league’s top scorer. He left Thika while at the top of the scoring chart on nine goals.

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The return of Allan Wanga is perhaps the biggest transfer news, considering his pedigree. Wanga has joined AFC Leopards on a one-year loan move from Vietnamese side Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL).

He first played in the KPL in 2007, emerging the top scorer and was immediately snapped up by Angolan side Petro Atletico.

After two seasons at the club, he moved to Baku and returned home briefly to play for Sofapaka before he went to Vietnam.

Pressure will certainly be on the returnees to prove their mettle in what promises to be a very competitive league.

Jamal Mohammed Premier League