Football expert identifies what is killing Kenyan players’ European dreams

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FOOTBALL Football expert identifies what is killing Kenyan players’ European dreams

Joel Omotto 08:04 - 23.11.2023

A leading football expert has explained why Kenyan players are struggling to make the cut in European teams

Kenyan players have been urged to put more emphasis on professionalism if they want to secure moves to Europe and enjoy a successful playing career.

A lot of Kenyan talents have failed to make the cut when they go for trials overseas while some that make it do not last long before they return home due to several factors.

Football agent Omar Banza, who handles Harambee Stars defender Joseph Okumu, believes the main reason is that Kenyan players lack proper orientation on how to carry themselves professionally, leading to struggles when they get opportunities abroad.

“For Kenyan players, proper orientation is key. We are operating opposite of how the football world operates. Our social life supersedes our professional life when it should be vice versa,” Banza told Pulse Sports.

“There is lack of proper orientation from football administrators, club chairmen, team managers, and coaches.”

Banza feels African players in general will always play second fiddle to European talents because the two sets of players are cultured differently.

“For example, a 17-year-old boy developed in Europe, doesn’t matter black or white, put him in the same room with a 17-year-old from Africa. If you compare the two boys, you will learn that the African boy is more socially mature than the European boy and vice versa when it comes to professionalism,” he added.

Besides Okumu, Banza’s agency, Elite Project Group, handles over 50 top players among them Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka and his team-mate Eddie Nketiah, Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho and Fulham midfielder Alex Iwobi.

“We have other young Kenyan talent and with time, they will be introduced to the world,” said Banza concerning their talent pool whose total market value is €422 million, as per

Okumu is currently the only Kenyan playing in one of Europe’s major leagues following in the footsteps of Victor Wanyama, Michael Olunga, McDonald Mariga, and Dennis Oliech.

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