The news that Micheal Olunga might miss the African Cup of Nations Tournament could not have come at a worse time for Sebastian Migne. The Harambee Stars coach is currently with his team for a training camp in France as preparations for the Tournament which start in less than weeks from now gather pace.
Harambee Stars may have to do without the services of the influential forward at the team’s pre-AFCON camp in France as well as the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after Kashiwa Reysol failed to release the influential forward in time. It is not the first time the former Gor Mahia and Girona striker has missed training for the Harambee Stars, earlier this year he missed training as the team was preparing for the second leg qualifier match with Ghana.
It is a problem that Migne will have to deal with and should Olunga fail to make it, a solution has to be found before Stars depart for Egypt. Micheal Olunga is Migne first-choice striker but that is not to mean that he is irreplaceable. If indeed Olunga will not be on the plane to Egypt, someone has to fill his positions and to be fair, there are lots of candidates for that striking spot in the country.
For starters, Allan Wanga is not in the squad but he is a very capable and reliable center forward who has the experience of playing in the national team. Wanga found the net 18 times as his Kakamega Homeboyz side finished 7th in the just concluded Kenya Premier League season. He was initially in the team but was dropped as Migne trimmed his squad before leaving for France. He remains a class act on and off the pitch, Migne must already be thinking of calling back following the Olunga debacle.
Additionally, Jesse Were who stars for Zesco United in Zambia is also not in Migne’s squad but could find the door opened for him now that Olunga’s presence is not guaranteed. Jesse Were may have a poor record while playing for the national team but what better way to announce your entry into the team than with a goal at the country’s first ever continental tournament in 15 years! They say form is temporary but class is permanent, Were has the class in front of goal so he may make an impact once called up.
The Olunga debacle may cause a headache to Migne and his plans but it is also one that could open the door for other players to shine at the biggest stage of all.