Michael Olunga at his new club. PHOTO | COURTESYMichael Olunga at his new club. PHOTO | COURTESY
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Kenyan forward Michael Olunga will earn Sh5 million more a month after signing for top tier Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol on Thursday.

However, the Harambee Stars striker’s overall value in the transfer market has decreased by about Sh100 million after this permanent move.

“New Roads, New Rivers, New Chapter. Beginning of another unfolded history,” Olunga wrote on his Instagram page in his first message since becoming a Reysol player.

J-League side Reysol are believed to have paid about Sh300 million to top tier Chinese side Guizou Zhicheng in exchange for Olunga’s services.

This amount represents a Sh100 million deficit compared to the Sh400 million Ghuizou paid Sweden side IF Djurgardens to acquire Olunga in mid-2016.

Crucially, media reports say the 2015 Kenyan Premier League player of the year – who was in Nairobi last week to process his visa to Japan – will now pocket Sh15 million a month during his three-year stay at the club.

This excludes his match winning bonuses, training allowances and possibly image rights, an amount that makes him the second highest paid footballer in East Africa behind Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama.

SH 22 MILLION

Wanyama is understood to take home about Sh22 million a month at Tottenham Hotspur in England.

Also, Olunga becomes the first Kenyan footballer to play professionally in Japan.

The left footed attacker also is the latest big name player to move to Japan, following in the footsteps of European stars Andreas Iniesta, Lukas Podolski and Fernando Torres.

Olunga’s exit from China should also come as a relief to the player as he was never really offered a run in the first team by Coach Dan Petrescu’s despite consistently scoring while on national team duty.

In fact, he was not even registered by the team for domestic assignments over the past 12 months, a decision that forced the player and his representatives to secure a loan deal to Spain’s top flight side Girona, where he spent the entire 2017/18 season, scoring three times in nine appearances.

He has been linked with moves to English sides Everton, Huddersfield and Hull City in the past few weeks.

Reysol finished fourth in the 18-team J-League last season, and the team’s technical bench led by coach Takahiro Shimotaira will be hoping Olunga’s addition fires them towards a third league title in the club’s history.