Kenyan forward Michael Olunga (right) and team mate Jonas Ramalho (center) contest for the ball with Barcelona's defender from Argentina Javier Mascherano (left) in a Spanish league match at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 23, 2017. AFP PHOTO Kenyan forward Michael Olunga (right) and team mate Jonas Ramalho (center) contest for the ball with Barcelona's defender from Argentina Javier Mascherano (left) in a Spanish league match at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 23, 2017. AFP PHOTO
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Former Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has backed Michael Olunga to eventually deliver in the Spain’s top flight football league, while also hinting the player’s stint at Girona is shortlived.

Mulee, who tutored Olunga in his the formative years, exclusively spoke to Nairobi News on Wednesday moments after the 23-year-old was shortlisted by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) for the best performing African players’ award this year.

Olunga, who is on loan at Spanish top flight side Girona, made the 30-man shortlist for the Caf African Player of the Year award which was released by the continental football body on Wednesday evening.

NOMINEES

He is the only Kenyan on this list, joining the decorated company of star names such as Sadio Mané (Senegal and Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool), Denis Onyango (Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast and Manchester United) and last year’s runners up Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund and Gabon), all of whom are favourites to win the award.

“I am not surprised he has been shortlisted because he’s had a good season, and once you have a good season, somebody will notice,” said Ghost.

“He has not been able to settle well in Spain, he’s not broken into the first team but he’s normally a slow starter. I know he will come good and form a good base ahead of wherever he will be playing next season.”

Olunga has yet to score in Spain after four appearances, three of which came as a substitute and the other a starting berth against Barcelona.