Saturday January 30 2016

Timing perfect for Miya

Miya will be only the second player after Magid

Miya will be only the second player after Magid Musisi (RIP) to go straight from the local league to Europe if his deal goes through. Photo by ISMAIL KEZAALA 



This generation loves a juicy transfer rumour. Rumours don’t have to have too much detail as fans care less about their authenticity.

All that fans want is for their club to be linked to someone. Sadly, January never brings enough of those because it is so short and most clubs are reluctant to let any player move.
Most are written like this: Real Madrid want to sign Chelsea’s Eden Hazard after the Belgian playmaker expressed his displeasure about being withdrawn at halftime at West Brom.

The chronology is perfect. However, most do not happen and the three-month ‘silly’ window from June compensates for the January ‘lull’.

January buys
Jog your memory to Manchester United’s capture of Nemanja Vidic (2004) and Patrice Evra (2006) from Spartak Moscow and Monaco respectively for successful January buys.

Of course, there are many others including Luis Suarez, who moved to Liverpool five years ago from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam. In there, lies a critical history that Uganda Cranes midfielder Farouk Miya could benefit from after his imminent move to Europe.

Belgian side Standard Liege were the first to give Vipers a call. Then, just when the Shs1.4bn (US$400, 000) move to Belgium was almost done, Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg jumped in.

All three struggled in their first months. Suarez managed just four goals in four games. And none, including Evra who has skinned by wingers during his audition, had an immediate impact.

Like the trio, expect Liege or Salzburg to ease Miya into the side between now and May, then settle him in proper in the 2016-17 pre-season.

Thereafter, the ex-Vipers player will have to start producing results like he has for his club, which won the Azam Uganda Premier League, and the national team. Despite his 13 goals for Cranes last year, it could blow up in his face if Miya is to be thrown in at the deep end.

There is also going to be an argument that Miya is half-baked as he has only played two years in the league and thus needed the ongoing Africa Nations Championship (Chan) to grow.
Perhaps, some even think featuring against Nigeria’s Enyimba in next month’s Orange Caf Champions League would aid his growth further. He is half-baked. Granted.

Belgium ninth
But, for a country that has not sold a player directly from here to Europe since Magid Musisi’s move to French side Stade Rennes in 1992, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Under the European co-efficient ranking for leagues for the 2014-15 season, Belgium, the number one ranked country by world body Fifa, lie ninth and Austria are 16th.

Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine lead the standings in that order with Netherlands completing the top 10.

It would be better if Miya jumped to a mid-table team in those top four leagues but it never happens like that for African players.
Most only make it to the money league through smaller leagues. Belgium constitutes one of the widest bridges. A lot of chaff must have gone through it.\The path is never straight as Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure (Manchester City) knows that his journey from Asec Mimosas to England meandered through Belgian side Beveren.

Toure has had stints in Ukraine and France before arriving in Spain and England. Miya has now arrived at the bridge; it is up to him to cross.

Copa coca schools winner at St
Mary’s Kitende: 2013, 2012, 2011
League debut for Vipers: 2013/2014
2013/2014 season: 8 goals
2014/2015 season: 11 goals
Won league for Vipers in 2014/15
and Cecafa with Uganda
Helped Cranes qualify for a third Chan (2016)
16 international goals
Scored winner against Seychelles on
Cranes debut in 2014 July
Made Cranes competitive debut
against Mauritania in July 2014
Scored winner against Nigeria in
international friendly in March