By Standardmedia.co.ke (Gilbert Wandera)
A few months into his stay at Gor Mahia in 2016, Eric Ouma was already being equated to the Brazillian great Marcelo.
And it is not difficult to see why. Just like the Real Madrid defender, Ouma has all the qualities of a complete full back that saw him burst into the national team while still a teenager.
Former Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi describes him as the best player in the country when it comes to taking crosses and picking out his team-mates in the box.
“There is no one like him in that area and I don t fear being contradicted. There is simply no player in Kenya who can take those pin-point crosses as he does. He is my number one in that position,” said Okumbi.
Okumbi says the defender also shows great courage in moving forward and always gives a coach something extra in attack.
“He is very dangerous when moving forward and provides something extra offensively. Furthermore, he also defends perfectly and is a player who gives any coach his all.
“Perhaps should not have gone to Georgia after leaving Gor Mahia. It didn’t give him that competitive edge but playing in Sweden is helping him get back.
“He should be at his top form by the time the Africa Cup of Nations finals kick off and we will see the best of him. I am confident he can take on Kenya’s opponents well.”
Over the last few years, Kenya has struggled for consistency on the wings but with Ouma’s presence, fears of opponents getting a loop-hole here are dramatically reduced.
Despite his great form, Ouma did not win the league title with Gor Mahia in 2016 as the team finished in the runners-up position to Tusker.
Many believe he would have won more titles at home had he stayed for at least two more years in the KPL and at Gor Mahia specifically.
However, his decision to sign only a six-month contract with Gor Mahia was perhaps an indication of his desire not to stay at the club for a long period.
After leaving Gor Mahia in 2016, Ouma moved to Georgia where he joined Kolkheti Poti and made 19 appearances. But he looked unsettled in Georgia as he immediately moved to Albania in 2018 joining KS Kastrioti. He never played for the Albanian club and his lack of match fitness also kept him out of the Harambee Stars.
He only started playing after joining Vasalund in the Swedish third division. With age on his side, he is likely to attract a bigger club after the Africa Cup of Nations finals conclude in Egypt if he rises to the occasion.