How Kaizer Chiefs could line-up with James Kotei

Kaizer Chiefs
The Ghanaian midfielder sealed his transfer to Amakhosi on Wednesday, and his arrival should give Ernst Middendorp plenty of options in midfield

James Kotei is officially a Kaizer Chiefs player after penning a three-year deal with the club on Wednesday, and he is expected to bring a different dimension to the way the team is playing right now. 

After finishing in ninth position last season, Chiefs definitely needed to refresh the squad in key departments, including the central midfield position where Willard Katsande and George Maluleka have been playing. 

Other players who have played in the central midfield role include Andriamirado Andrianarimanana and Siphelele Ntshangase, but Kotei has other qualities that could make Amakhosi tick. 

Kotei is an athletic player who works tirelessly in midfield to protect the back four behind him, and his arrival may have implications for the likes of Katsande and Maluleka.    

While this was Katsande's role for many years at Chiefs, his height and accurate passes would do Chiefs a world of good. 

Katsande may have become Amakhosi's undisputed midfield-kingpin, but he hasn't been able to replicate the same form that saw him get nominated for the Midfielder of the Season award in the past. 


This means Kotei has the upper-hand to play regularly once he has settled down. 

Katsande was heavily criticized by a section of Chiefs' fans for his mistakes, but the team struggled whenever he was not in the team. 

As a no-nonsense defensive midfielder, Katsande picked up too many yellow cards. 

Kotei isn't only good when it comes to marking and making important tackles, but he is able to soak up the pressure in midfield and help the team go forward. 

His trademark forward passes would undoubtedly see attacking players benefit from his presence in the middle of the park. 

With Kotei in a more defensive role, this could offer the likes of Dax and Ntshangase more freedom to dazzle the Amakhosi fans with their brilliance - more creativity and creation of goalscoring opportunities for the strikers. 


The last time Chiefs had a real playmaker was during the years of Reneilwe Letsholonyane whose combination with Katsande was devastating in the league. 

Kotei may not be as imposing as Katsande in terms of his physique, but his talent, mental strength, and ability among other traits shouldn't be a concern for the Chiefs fans. 

The 25-year-old midfielder will be suited in any of Middendorp's preferred formations. 

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Playing Kambole as a lone striker with Dumisani Zuma and Joseph Malongoane as supporting strikers could also work for Middendorp, as long as he has a ball-winning player like Kotei behind them. 

Kotei can be partnered with Dax with two pacey players on the flanks and Lebogang Manyama and Kambole upfront. This could see Chiefs turn the many chances they create into goals. 

Kotei, who was Simba's Player of the Season, and he should set the tone of how a modern midfielder should play at Chiefs.