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Cape Town City sign Ivorian centre-back

South Africa
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Cape Town City sign Ivorian centre-back as Johannes replacement

South African top-flight side Cape Town City have announced the signing of little-known Ivorian defender Kouassi Kouadja.

The club confirmed the capture of the 22-year-old on Tuesday, bringing him in as a replacement for departing captain Robyn Johannes, who will join Bidvest Wits next season.

"The left-footed centre-back joins City on a four-year deal with already a wealth of European experience. The club looks forward to watching Kouassi grow in the heart of the City defence," City said via their Facebook page.

That "wealth" of European experience is perhaps a stretch though, with his career to date having been a low-key journey through Eastern European leagues.

He had previously been linked with Getafe in Spain, but that move never transpired. Instead he spent last season at Russian second-tier side FK Tambov, where he did not play a single game.

Born in Dabou, Ivory Coast, his first professional club in Europe was FC Saxan in Moldova, before he embarked on a loan spell at Romanian side Astra Giurgiu. He then spent six months at FK Slutsk in Belarus, before a year with FK Aktobe in Kazakhstan.

He moved to FK Tambov at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, but did not settle there and has not kicked a ball in competitive football in over a year.

City will hope he is a hit, having had a considerable number of misses in bringing foreign talent to the club. Australians James Brown and Matt Sim, and Latvian Renars Rode, did not last long in their first season.

Nigerian Victor Obinna and Jeitoso from Mozambique were also failures in the last campaign, while the jury is still out on Allan Kateregga (Uganda) and Masoud Juma (Kenya).

Foreign players who have shone include Austrian midfielder Roland Putsche and left-back Edmilson from Mozambique.

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