Harambee Stars defender joins Belgian side

Harambee Stars defender Joseph Okumu displays a  KAA Gent after signing a four-year deal with the club on June 21, 2021.

Photo credit: Pool | KAA Gent

What you need to know:

  • Gent Sports Manager Tim Matthys praised Okumu saying he is a dependable talented defender who will help the team solidify its defence in their league campaign this season.
  • “Joseph (Okumu) is a great central defender who will also add footballing ability to our defence. He has a very good vertical passing and it is no coincidence that he has attracted the attention of many clubs. We are glad he chose us," he added.

Harambee Stars defender Joseph Okumu was on Monday unveiled by Belgian First Division side KAA Gent FC on a four-year deal.

The deal is believed to be around Sh400 million, but the club didn’t reveal the exact amount of money which saw Okumu switch from Swedish club IF Elfsborg to the Belgian outfit.

“Joseph Okumu (26 May 1997) today [Monday] signed a contract until 2025. With the arrival of the 24-year-old Kenyan, we are strengthening our defence," said the statement on the club website.

Gent Sports Manager Tim Matthys praised Okumu saying he is a dependable talented defender who will help the team solidify its defence in their league campaign this season.

“Joseph (Okumu) is a great central defender who will also add footballing ability to our defence. He has a very good vertical passing and it is no coincidence that he has attracted the attention of many clubs. We are glad he chose us," he added.

The defender had been on the radar of some of the top clubs in Europe and was at one time linked with Scottish giants Celtic, Rangers and French side Lorient.

Okumu will now become the third Kenyan to play for the Belgium giants after retired former Harambee Stars midfielders Robert Mambo and John Muiruri ‘JohnMoo’ in the early 2000s.

He joined IF Elfsborg in 2019 from the US side Real Monarchs where he spent a season in 2019. He also had a short stint with another American side AFC Ann Arbor in 2017.

The Kakamega High School alumnus joined the now defunct Chemelil Sugar Football club in 2016 after finishing his Form Four studies.

Despite being one of the young defenders in the league, he impressed and was a regular in the club's league and other competition matches.

After two seasons with the Millers, he signed for Free States Stars of South Africa in 2016 where he starred before moving to the US in 2017.

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