EPL : Brentford confirm signing of South African international Mokotjo
Kamohelo Mokotjo scouting report: Brentford’s new signing is more Naby Keita than N’Golo Kante
Brentford’s capture of 26-year old defensive midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo looks to be something of a coup given that he was captain of FC Twente in the Eredivisie last season.
The South African has signed a three-year deal at Griffin Park, with the club paying an undisclosed fee, reported to be £880k (€1m) for his services.
The recruitment strategy of the west London club, led by Rasmus Ankersen, sees Brentford use an analytical approach to source transfer targets from across Europe. Mokotjo is their third first-team signing of the season, and looks like it may be one of the shrewdest deals of the summer.
Having moved from his native South Africa to play for Feynoord in 2009, the midfielder was used sparingly as a youngster under then-manager Ronald Koeman.
He then moved to PEC Zwolle, where his progress when playing regular football persuaded Twente to reportedly break their transfer record to sign him.
Mokojo nearly made the switch to west London two years ago, alongside then teammate Andreas Bjelland, but he opted to stay at Twente where he then became captain last summer.
After his signing, Head Coach Dean Smith described Mokotjo as a “defensive midfielder who can break play up, cover a lot of ground and use the ball intelligently.”
This combination of athleticism and technical ability is key to Mokotjo’s impact. His tireless energy and power make him very adept at breaking down play, whilst his pace and eye for a pass enable him to activate the transition of defence to attack effectively.
Comparisons between Mokotjo and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante are wide of the mark, as the new Brentford player takes more risks on the ball once he has regained possession.
His skill-set is more aligned with Naby Keita, the Leipzig player for whom Liverpool are launching a club-record pursuit.
Of course he lacks the quality of these world-class midfielders, but the combination of technical and physical attributes he possesses will make him a serious force in the Championship.
Whilst two assists last season may not seem immediately impressive, he created 27 chances in total; the joint third most of any Twente player. He is also a very accomplished dribbler, successfully completing a phenomenal 29 of his 35 attempted take-ons, and being fouled 50 times.
Source : www.standard.co.uk