Leopards sharpen claws for transfer market frenzy

Monday November 6 2017

AFC Leopards starting XI pose for a team photo before facing Kariobangi Sharks in the 2017 Gotv Shield final on October 20, 2017 at Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi. From left, Victor Majid, Vincent Oburu, Salim Abdalla, Dennis Sikhayi, Duncan Otieno, Lewis Wanami, Whyvonne Isutza, Musa Mudde, Aziz Okaka, Ray Omondi and goalkeeper Gabriel Andika (front-centre). PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

AFC Leopards starting XI pose for a team photo before facing Kariobangi Sharks in the 2017 Gotv Shield final on October 20, 2017 at Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi. From left, Victor Majid, Vincent Oburu, Salim Abdalla, Dennis Sikhayi, Duncan Otieno, Lewis Wanami, Whyvonne Isutza, Musa Mudde, Aziz Okaka, Ray Omondi and Gabriel Andika (front-centre). PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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Kenyan Premier League teams including champions in waiting Gor Mahia are in panic mode after hearing that AFC Leopards is about to enter the transfer market with a bang to raid their camps.

According to club chairman, Dan Anthony Mule Ingwe will spend heavily at the end of the season as they seek to build a formidable side that will not only challenge for the league title but also go on and become the first Kenyan team to win the modern era Confederation Cup.

Top management has started earnest talks with the technical bench to identify areas that need to be strengthened ahead of the 2018 season.

Sources at the Den stated that coach Robert Matano has requested the club management to set aside a serious war chest that could rival the best in this region to buy top-notch players to boost his squad.

After promising to keep all stars who are the engine of the team, Matano is looking for about seven, not just experienced players, but big name players who will send shivers down the spins of our opponents including those noisy neighbours of ours Gor Mahia, any time they step onto the pitch.

Top of the list is our former hitman, international and Middle East experienced Kepha Aswani even after Nakumatt insisted he will not leave.

The proven international striker has had a rather fruitful season at Nakumatt since leaving Ingwe early this year on disciplinary grounds.

According to reports, Ingwe technical bench has been keenly following the player’s progress and now believe that the Golden Boot chasing Aswani could fit into Matano’s squad for 2017.

Leopards have had striking problems and you can imagine how the free-scoring 29-year-old Aswani would have had a field day turning out in the famous blue and white stripe.

Did you know that since Ghanaian Gilbert Fiamenyo left in June, he is still Ingwe’s top scorer with five goals?

Still setting his sights on clinching this year’s Golden Boot, Aswani is one of the best No 9s in Kenya, maybe the best.

Aswani came close to winning the league Golden Boot in 2012 finishing third with 12 goals.

He has shown his scoring prowess by helping Nakumatt remain in the league after earning promotion last year.

Aswani is ready to come back to Ingwe and show fans that he’s totally committed to giving his best for the club he, deep down, loves so much.

There is no doubt that Aswani is a very good player and it will be interesting to see how Matano uses him, pairing him with Vincent Oburu might work well for Ingwe.

Aswani is at the age now where I’ve got the feeling that his arrival at the Den will get that positive buzz going.

Ingwe is also looking at the possibility of signing a centre half as they have been using a midfielder, Dancun Otieno to cover for the injured international defender Robinson Kamura.

Leopards must also work hard to bring back Keziron Kizito who went AWOL last month despite having a contract with them running until next year.

The Ugandan midfielder has been training with Kerala Blasters FC in Spain. Kerala Blasters is a top club in India where former Manchester United stars Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown turn out.

He could nicely fit in Matano’s formation.

The coach with the Midas touch is looking for an advanced winning formula that will see a fearsome, ruthless and savage AFC Leopards outfit tearing to shreds any opponent they meet on their path as they march towards a first Kenyan championship in 20 years.

Beware, the prowling Leopards. We never change our spots.