Middendorp defends Kotei delay


Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has downplayed any regrets over releasing a promising Andriamirado Andrianarimanana in favour of James Kotei.

Kotei arrived at Chiefs at the start of the season from Tanzanian outfit Simba SC, along with other new signings Samir Nurkovic, Kearyn Baccus and Lazarous Kambole.

Amakhosi were in a predicament of having exceeded their foreign quota limit, with Daniel Akpeyi, Leonardo Castro and ‘Dax’ already on their books.

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A decision was then taken to sell the Madagascan international midfielder, who had spent just one season at Naturena, to Black Leopards, much to the disappointment of the club’s supporters.

Five months down the line, Kotei is the only foreigner yet to make his debut for The Glamour Boys, despite having taken a space that could have seen Andrianarimanana continue his rise in the black and gold.

However, Middendorp has since defended that he would not go as far as regretting the decision to part ways with ‘Dax’, and he insists he will be patient with the Ghanaian at least until next season.

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“I wouldn’t go that far [as to talk about regrets],” argued the German when quizzed about the delay of Kotei after reluctantly parting ways with a prospective star.  

“You would be surprised, but research in general in professional soccer shows that players start to perform if they come from another country or continent, most of the time build up to their best at the earliest in their second season.

“If you have sometimes a lucky moment that certain players can do it immediately, that’s fine, but I’m not irritated in the moment.

“If we can have [Kotei ready by] next season, then we can talk about [regrets]. But it’s still too early to make a final assessment about it.”

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