How Anthony Akumu has won over Ernst Middendorp quicker than James Kotei

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Akumu arrived just a month ago following his departure from Zambian side ZESCO United in December as he replaced Ghanaian midfielder James Kotei, who was released after just six months at the club.

Kotei, in fact, failed to do make a single appearance for the Chiefs, suggesting his replacement may be more suited to Middendorp’s football philosophy after he earned his first appearance in Saturday's Nedbank Cup victory over Royal Eagles. 

However, the German steered clear of make a direct comparison between the two midfielders as he further guarded against overhyping the lanky 27-year-old, whom he revealed also offers the option of doubling up as another centre-back.

“Of course, we have seen from different patterns and stuff from Anthony during this – I think it’s a little bit more than three weeks since he’s come in,” said Middendorp.

“And, good, at the moment it’s to get to know the combinations now, [in terms of] where to go, what to do and it was just the first gap to go into it.

“He had a chance to find a little bit of experience percentage-wise, I don’t know actually, we have to be very sorted, which I think we can be.

“We have the options in midfield with other players being available, and we used him even in the centre-back position in training – he was quite impressive and positive too.

“We have to find out in the moment, I can’t really make an absolute assessment, but we see good touches and good understanding of quick movement in tight spaces, to be part of combination play and good, let’s see.”