Gor Mahia duo of Benson Omala & Rooney Onyango reportedly on radar of top European team

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FOOTBALL Gor Mahia duo of Benson Omala & Rooney Onyango reportedly on radar of top European team

Joel Omotto 16:00 - 24.11.2023

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has revealed that Gor Mahia players Benson Omala and Rooney Onyango could soon join a European team following his recommendation

Gor Mahia could be about to lose key players Benson Omala and Rooney Onyango following revelations from Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat.

Omala and Onyango are among the ‘untouchables’ in coach Johnathan McKinstry’s side with the former the league’s top scorer while the latter is a reliable right-back and it is those qualities that have reportedly sold them to a European team.

In an interview with People Daily, Firat said he has recommended the two players to a European side that watched them during Harambee Stars’ 5-0 win over Seychelles in the 2026 World Cup qualifier on Monday.

“My work is to open doors for the rich talents in the country. In the past, most of our foreign-based players played for Gor Mahia,” said Firat.

“They played well there and got offers from foreign teams. This year, Gor was crowned champions but nobody got an offer from Europe.

“These players need to get the offers abroad while still young. It may not be my job, but I recently spoke with one of my friends who owns a club in Europe, and are champions in their country and also play in the European Cup.

“I recommend Omala and Onyango to him and the boys know about it. He watched our 5-0 win against Seychelles and will come before the winter transfer period to see the boys live and watch some more matches before he makes up his mind. I am sure he will sign at least one or both players.”

While Rooney has become a mainstay in Firat’s side in the last three matches, Omala was handed a rare opportunity when he came on as a substitute during Monday’s match following previous snubs that led to an outcry among a section of Kenyans.

The two players both impressed, Onyango scoring the fourth goal before assisting Omala for his debut strike for the national team, in what was just his second cap and had another one ruled out for offside later on.

Firat also defended his decision to field Onyango on the right wing and not right-back where he pays for Gor Mahia.

The Turkish coach insists the youngster is at his best playing in an offensive position, hinting that he could be getting ‘wasted’ playing in defence for his club.

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

“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 break. 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.”

Unlike Onyango who is yet to get a taste of European football, Omala had a short stint in Sweden with FC Linkoping City in 2021 and it remains to be seen if Firat’s promise will bear fruit.

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