Firat explains playing Rooney Onyango as a right winger at Harambee Stars

FOOTBALL Firat explains playing Rooney Onyango as a right winger at Harambee Stars

Mark Kinyanjui 09:33 - 25.11.2023

The youngster plays as a right back at Gor Mahia but is more advance in the national team.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has explained the reason he plays Gor Mahia right back Rooney Onyango in an unorthodox right-wing role.

Onyango has quickly risen to prominence in the Harambee Stars shirt since making his debut against Russia in October, with all of his three caps being as a right winger.

Speaking to People Daily, the Turkish head coach explained that playing Onyango as a right back would be limiting his true attacking capabilities, comparing the situation to “driving a Porsche with a hand brake”.

“He is definitely playing better because he is not playing in the right back position,” Firat said.

“Rooney has a lot of offensive qualities which he has started learning quickly in the national team.

“He is clearly an offensive player and that’s the position I will be using him in. If you put him on the right back, it's like driving a Porsche with a hand brake.”

The Turkish head coach however insists that Rooney has a lot to learn, and is destined to go to ply his trade in Europe.

“But he has a lot to learn and he will swiftly make his way to Europe. If you look at his statistics, the proof is there, because he not only creates assists but also scores goals. He has won more offensive challenges than defensive challenges. No one can dispute this.”

Onyango’s ability to influence play in the final third is not new. During his days at Wazito under the tutelage of Francis Kimanzi, Onyango had formed a formidable wing-back partnership with now-Tusker left-back Levin Joseph Odhiambo.

Their ability to influence play in the final third as full-backs left interested observers with no choice but to compare them to the dynamic Liverpool duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.

This season, Onyango has been a fixture in the Gor Mahia lineup, starting nearly all the matches and consistently completing the full 90 minutes. 

Follow our Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more updates.