‘I hope to play in Europe’s top five leagues’ – Kenya’s Okumu as Rangers link emerges

The reported interest by the Scottish giants on the Harambee Stars defender has come up as Filip Helander attracts Premier League interest

Harambee Stars and Elfsborg defender Joseph Okumu has revealed his desire to play in Europe’s top five leagues amid reported interest from Scottish champions, Rangers.

The reported Rangers interest comes as centre-back Filip Helander is linked with a move to the Premier League. Okumu has been a key player for the Swedish side and the Scottish champions see him as a capable replacement should Helander leave.

Aston Villa and Leicester City are the Premier League sides that have been linked with Helander, 27, whose departure could open a chance for Okumu to find another European club after two seasons with Elfsborg.

“It’s not just about what one side wants, it’s about the bigger picture,” Okumu said as per Rangers News.

“When the time is right, I am sure that I will move on and there will be a mutual agreement between me and Elfsborg. If it’s not the right time, then I’ll stay.

“I can not say any specific country or league. It all depends on which bids come, and it is only then that I will have to decide what suits my playing style best. I hope to play in one of the top five leagues in Europe.”

In January, the former Chemelil Sugar star was a subject of a reported £2m interest from an unnamed club, a move that did not materialise in the end as he remained in Sweden.  

As he outlined what his dream is, the towering centre-back also spoke about Brazil centre-backs David Luiz and Thiago Silva.

“When I grew up, I looked at many different players and took inspiration,” said Okumu. “But above all, I looked at David Luiz and Thiago Silva. They have influenced my style of play.”

Okumu, a national winner of the secondary school games in 2014 with Kakamega High School, has never looked back since he featured for Kenya in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt. 

An injury to Brian Mandela gave the 23-year-old a perfect chance to announce himself to the world as he joined Elfsborg after the tournament.

Okumu joined Chemelil Sugar after completing his high school education at Kakamega High School. He remained at the club for only six months before venturing outside the country where he joined Free State Stars of South Africa.

He left for the USA and joined AFC Ann Arbor in 2018 before leaving for his former club Real Monarchs.

Should the Rangers move happen, he would be following in the footsteps of Victor Wanyama who featured for Celtic before he switched to the Premier League.

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