Is Harambee Stars new defensive midfielder Odada an automatic Wanyama's replacement?
FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | September 7th 2021
Harambee Stars new defensive midfielder Richard Odada has been the talk of town since making his national team debut last Thursday when Kenya hosted Uganda in Group E World Cup qualifiers.
Despite being just 20-years-old, Odada has been praised fully by Stars coach Jacob Mulee.
During his post-match interviews, Mulee categorically stated that he had never seen such a midfielder for long in Africa and that Stars' defensive midfield position is sorted and has finally found its occupant.
“Odada did well against Uganda and I think our midfield is now sorted I have never seen such a midfielder in Africa for a long time and for sure he is one player who I believe will make it into the top leagues in Europe.”
“He won the midfield battle, he was accurate in his passing, he had the hunger and that is what we are looking for as a team,” Mulee said in his earlier post-match interview.
The Serbian-based defensive midfielder put up another impressive show as Harambee Stars played out a 1-1 draw with Rwanda in Kigali.
“My debut in the national team against Uganda was a special moment for me because I have been waiting for that moment and I am happy I was given the opportunity to express myself,” said Odada.
With praises from the coach and outstanding performances he registered, is it now official that Odada is the automatic replacement for former captain Victor Wanyama?
Wanyama's future in the national team is in doubt after being stripped of the captaincy and being snubbed on the last three call ups by Mulee.
Wanyama, who captain Montréal FC which plays in the Major Soccer League in the US was not included in the team that faced Egypt and Togo in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, where Kenya were eliminated.
The last time Wanyama featured for Kenya was in the 202 AFCON qualifiers played in November last year against Comoros which Harambee Stars lost 2-1.
In his absence Mulee handed the armband to the Al Duhail SC striker Michael Olunga as he continued with his rebuilding process.
Odada is currently playing for FC Metellac in the Serbian top tier, having been loaned out by Red Star Belgrade to find the valuable playing time.
Odada has spent time with the Belgrade Under-19 team before being promoted to the senior ranks. He has also previously trained with Juventus.
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