Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko player and coach Frimpong Manso has claimed that Ugandan recruit Steven Mukwala Dese is capable of succeeding Franck Mbella Etouga.
He continued by saying that all he needed to do was increase “his goalscoring rate.”
There were some doubts about the Porcupine Warriors’ ability to get another potent striker in the form of the Cameroonian striker after former Kumasi Asante Kotoko forward Franck Mbella Etouga departed the Kumasi club for Al Masry in Egypt.
Kotoko won the league title in the previous season, 2021–2022, during which Etouga scored an astounding 21 goals.
After deciding that Ugandan international striker Steven Mukwala Dese would make the best substitute, the team turned to Uganda in its search for a successor.
The former Kotoko coach lauded Dese but warned him to improve on his scoring rate if he wants to match the figures Etouga racked up while playing for the club. The 23-year-old striker’s goal totals are fairly good, similar to Etouga’s, and you can’t criticise his work rate.
Speaking to an Accra-based FM station on Thursday, 2 February, 2023, Frimpong Manso said this about Steven Dese: “He is a very hard-working guy.
“You could see him always chasing the ball and fighting for every ball, but he has a scoring problem.
“He creates chances, but then, his finishing—if he is able to improve on his scoring rate, I think, maybe, he can do that [scoring as frequently as Franck Mbella Etouga did] because he is doing well for the team, and I could see.”
The former Kotoko coach said of the two strikers that they are not necessarily the same type of players because they are quite “different” from one another.
In his opinion, Etouga is a “finisher” compared to Mukwala Dese and was just concerned with scoring goals, which accounts for his strong goal-scoring performance.
“But the other guy, [Franck Mbella Etouga], was a finisher.”
“Any time he is in the box, he doesn’t miss opportunities like Mukwala.
“He [Mukwala Dese] is hard-working, but his scoring rate is also [a bit low],” he assessed.
At the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Kotoko’s matchday 16 matchup versus championship contenders Accra Lions saw Steven Mukwala Dese score twice.
His two goals pushed him to eighth place on the list of goal scorers.
Frimpong Manso believes that this is: “very good for him.
“But, even this time around, I think he has started scoring, which is very good for him.”
He reiterated that the two players are different, saying, “For me, I think the two of them are two different players; one is a finisher, and then one is also the pressure type—always harassing the defenders.”
If the Ugandan international striker, Steven Mukwala, will ultimately be able to replace Mbella, he only needs to do one thing, according to Frimpong: “Improve his scoring rate.”
Yaw Annor, an ex-attacker for Ashanti Gold who later joined the Egyptian team Ismaily SC, outscored Mbella, who scored 21 goals in his first season at Kotoko, and won the goal king trophy.