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Olunga seals mega-dollar deal to Japan

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Michael Olunga poses in the stadium after signing a deal with his new Japanese club Kashiwa Reysal on August 9, 2018. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10- Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga has put to an end his un-adventurous stint in the Chinese Super League by sealing a three-year move to the Japanese J-League, signing for Kashiwa Reysol in a deal estimated to be in the region of Sh300mn.

Olunga made a permanent move to Japan after returning to his Chinese club Guizhou Hengfeng F.C. following a season-long loan stint with Spanish top tier side Girona FC. The deal to Japan is reportedly set to rake Olunga a whooping Sh15mn a month.

“New roads, new rivers, new chapter, beginning of another unfolded story,” Olunga posted on his official Instagram handle posing with the jersey of his new club.

He is expected to be unveiled later Friday as he begins his three year stint. Reysol are currently placed 13th in the 18-team J-League with 23 points off 20 matches.

Formed in 1940, Reysol were founding members of Japan Soccer League in 1965 and have spent majority of their existence in the top tier of Japanese football.

They have been Japanese league champions twice, in 1972 and 2011, and have won three Emperor’s Cups.

With 14 rounds of matches left before the season ends, Reysol will look onto the goal scoring prowess of the Kenyan international to help them finish in the top half of the table.

Olunga stepped of the bench to score three and assist one to become the first ever Kenyan to score in Spanish top division. Photo/COURTESY

The Engineer as he is fondly referred as made his first pro move to IF Djugardens in Sweden in 2016 scoring 12 goals in 27 matches before the mega bucks in China came calling.

However, he couldn’t quite get settled in his new environment and only managed nine matches notching a meagre two goals. He was loaned out to Catalan club Girona at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season where he played 14 matches, only four of them as a starter.

He managed to score four goals in those 14 games, three of them being a hattrick in a 6-0 win against Las Palmas, making him the first ever Kenyan to score in the La Liga as well as the first ever Girona player to score a La Liga hattrick.

Prior to going for the pro leagues abroad, Olunga started off at Tusker FC straight from the Upper Hill High School where his football career started. The Liberty Academy product spent a season with the brewers before moving to Thika United.

His big break came when he joined Gor Mahia in 2015 helping them to finish the league unbeaten scoring 19 goals the entire season and finishing as the league’s Most valuable Player.

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