Name: Getaneh Kebede
Club: Bidvest Wits
Over the past couple of years, Ethiopia’s national team has seen a sensational rise, from a mediocre country, dwelling on past glories, to beating the likes of Sudan and South Africa, to reach their first Afcon in over 30 years and to being respectfully beaten by a much stronger Nigeria, in the World Cup qualifiers. And one of the main figures of this resurgence is 22-year-old striker Getaneh Kebede.
Signed by Dedebit in 2010, Kebede scored around 40 goals for the Addis Ababa team and also won the championship in his last season there. His performances for both Dedebit and Ethiopia led for South Africa’s Bidvest Wits to sign him in the summer. This season, he was more prominent in its first half, scoring most of his goals in his first matches for Wits, but after suffering an injury in October, which kept him out of the playoff match against Nigeria, he has dropped a bit in form, coming on as a substitute in a title-challenging Wits side.
Kebede is a very complete striker, with a good pace and agility, very useful in counter-attacks and can also head the ball very well. He also has a very strong shot and likes to score from distance, a quality certainly gained from playing in the rugged pitches of Ethiopia, but that also have helped in developing his above-average technical skills with the ball.
In the national team, he is already at the same level as Saladin Said, Adane Girma and the other stars of the Walya Antelops, with 7 goals in 19 caps and we hope that he can continue scoring goals for Ethiopia, now that Sewnet Bishaw era has ended and Mariano Barreto is their new coach.
These next few seasons in South Africa will be crucial for Kebede. If he can establish himself in the Wits starting XI next season and score goals, he can easily make a move to Europe and shine. If he can stays away from injuries and develops properly, he has an almost guaranteed spot in Europe.
Words by Alex Queiros (@alexqueiros)