By Michael Samson
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Five Ethiopian players, including the hero Adane Girma who scored the only goal for Ethiopia, are said to be in the recruitment list of football agents currently camped in South Africa watching the ongoing 29th African Cup of Nations.
Although some websites mentioned that local agents from South African leagues were busy trying to recruit the Egypt-based Ethiopian player Salahdin Said, he is to move to Europe, notably to a Belgian first division side, even though the striker is still under contract to Wadi-Degli. The unpredictable striker, earning USD 10,000 a month, is going to become the first Ethiopian player to join a first class European club.
The latest player in the transfer market is Adane Girma who scored the first Ethiopian Africa Nations Cup final goal after 37 years. Though he limped off the field in the first fifteen minutes of the match against Burkina Faso, Adane proved that he is the current best player Ethiopia has produced. Adane covered the whole field and inspired his ten men squad to a much appreciated draw with Zambia.
The other player under the agents’ radar is Waliya’s most gifted midfield player Shimeles Bekele. The playmaker’s performance has earned him much appreciation among football fans. His precise pass to Salahdin that earned Ethiopia a penalty and his curling effort that came back off the right post was among the midfielder’s high points that caught some agents’ attention.
Saint George and Waliya left full back Abebaw Butako and Dedebit’s attacking midfielder Menyahel Teshome are said to get contracts from South African agents. It is not surprising that much attention was paid to these players considering the numerous comments showered on them by world soccer renowned personalities such as former Nigerian international player Sunday Oliseh.