Kamohelo Mokotjo – FC Twente grab a bargain

After a few weeks of rumours it is a done deal. South-African midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo has left PEC Zwolle for FC Twente. They were not the only team chasing him. PSV and Ajax were more than interested and also some unknown clubs from the Bundesliga and Premier League wanted him but Martijn Hilhorst explains why…


Kamehelo Mokotjo and Alfred Schreuder – Image courtesy of FCTwente.nl

First of all because he was a bargain. In the previous season, he was one of the best players in the Eredivisie and he only costs €1.5 million. Before signing for PEC Zwolle, he played for Feyenoord, but the coach, then Ronald Koeman, did not see his potential which made him leave for the ‘Blauwvingers’.

Fans of Feyenoord were not happy with this move, because it was clear Mokotjo has something special in him. He is a player who combines his passing accuracy (89%) with a fantastic tackling percentage (91%). With latter percentage, he was the best tackler in the Eredivisie with at least 50 tackles and he also had the highest duel success rate from every midfielder with 64.3% (both via @OptaJohan).  Another statistic which speaks for him is that rarely makes fouls, because he is secure and patient with his tackling. That is why he only received one yellow card in the whole of last season as a defensive midfielder.

As you know the last few months have been undoubtedly the best in the history of PEC Zwolle with a staggering 5-1 win in the KNVB Beker final win versus Ajax and a few days back the victory in the Johan Cruijff Schaal with 1-0 also against the Amsterdammers. A few players at Zwolle are partially the reason for this success, but most of the job was done by this brilliant all-round midfielder. Because of this, it is weird that he that costs FC Twente the pitiful sum of €1.5 million and that clubs in per example, the Premier League have not been paying attention.

He now left them for Twente where he signed a 4-year deal and he will wear jersey number 22. Twente is in the feared category 1 financial-wise, which means that the financial situation is far from perfect. When you are in that category the KNVB have to approve every transfer you want to make.  Therefore, because of the €15 million they just earned from Quincy Promes’ transfer to Spartak Moscow they immediately could sign him up. He will most likely start this weekend versus Cambuur because of the departure of Quincy ‘The Promise’, Dušan Tadić and Felipe Gutierrez is absent due to injury.

Of the €1.5m sum, PEC Zwolle only receives around 900k, because when Mokotjo left Feyenoord they wanted around 40% of a future deal. So financial-wise and tactical-wise, it has been horrible week for Zwolle. Since his most-likely departure they are in talks with his possible replacement in the name of Ryan Koolwijk (ex-NEC), who is also in the interest of Swiss side FC Aarau. He could replace him, but quality wise, it would be an immense step back.

Kamohelo is a great midfielder, who is a great addition when in possession, or when you are chasing the ball. With his technique and ball control, he would not be a stranger in the way FC Twente plays. After this season many (international) clubs will realise what an enormous mistake they have made not to buy him.


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