The Uganda Premier League (UPL) 2021 transfer window officially closed on Tuesday, September 21 at 11:59 pm and as expected, there was tension as teams and players were involved in late moves to new clubs, some predictable while others shocking.
One of the biggest shocks interestingly saw Hassan Musana join league debutants Gadaffi FC after being released by KCCA while Bright Anukani-who also had an affiliation to the Lugogo side last season ended up at Kitende.
Nelson Ssenkatuka broke the internet with his unprecedented return to Soltilo Bright Stars barely two years after his move to Morocco. The deal had many speaking highly about the unveiling more than anything.
Muhamad Shaban also awaits his homecoming at Onduparaka and the kind of reception he will get from the fans when he gets to don the Caterpillars green and show face to the AbaBet Greenlight Stadium faithful.
The list is elastic with Juma Balinya who returned to Police FC, Hannington Ssebwalunyo recalled from his loan move to BUL FC.
And James Alitho making a return to URA FC thereby throwing more wax in the fire to the notion that the Tax Collectors have enjoyed the best window.
You might freely wish to alternate the order, but these below are the top ten transfers, as analysed by the Football256 team.
- Nelson Senkatuka – Soltilo Bright Stars
When Nelson Ssenkatuka plays, the expectations are that he will score – at least he did so, the many of the times he appeared for Soltilo Bright Stars in the 2018/2019 season before leaving for greener pastures in 2019.
While with Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan, the trajectory did not go exactly according to plan for Ssenkatuka who only scored once in eleven appearances for the club. A record he would love to forget in a hurry.
His return to Bright Stars where he is so much loved provides a lot of confidence for Baker Mbowa’s side especially after having lost two of their most lethal forwards in Joseph Akandwanaho and Samuel Sekamatte last season. Ssenkatuka is expected to be the fulcrum.
- Vianne Sekajugo – URA FC
The industrious midfielder traded Wakiso Giants for URA and signed a two-year employment contract following the expiration of his deal with the Purple Sharks.
Sekajugo did not require any time to adjust to life with the Tax Collectors since he seems to have already created a partnership with Steven Mukwala.
As seen from the two assists provided by the former during their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round home fixture against Ethiopian Coffee.
For the past two seasons, however, Ssekajugo had been the Purple Sharks’ topscorer in both campaigns after joining in from Onduparaka FC at the start of the 2019/20 season. Big signing for URA indeed.
- Samuel Sekamatte – Arua Hill
The striker was convinced to leave Soltilo Bright Stars where had played the target man role magnificently, to join the Arua Hill promising project with expectations to deliver seemingly channelled his way.
His bromance with Joseph Akandwanaho the previous season that saw the two hit the Premier League by storm and play fantasy football in a rather small side will definitely be a benchmark for Livingstone Mbabazi as the two prepare to work together.
- Anukani Bright – Vipers SC
Anukani’s footballing abilities are not doubted at all, but his attitude at times is. Linked to so many local and foreign suitors, the creative midfielder finally settled for Vipers SC from Proline on a permanent deal.
He spent the entire 2020/21 season on loan with KCCA where he was underwhelming and the player will have to fight to cement a regular place in the star-studded Kitende outfit. Will he be equal to the challenge?
- Yassar Mugerwa – KCCA FC
The midfielder returned to the country after six straight years of plying his trade abroad, he chose KCCA over Express FC following the expiry of his employment contract at Ethiopian Coffee.
Mugerwa will be well facilitated at Lugogo where he re-unites with coach Morley Byekwaso with whom they had worked together at SC Victoria University before the midfielder leaving for South Africa.
- Isma Mugulusi – SC Villa
Amidst controversy, Uganda U-20 starlet Isma Mugulusi joined SC Villa from Busoga United despite the fact that KCCA claimed the player had an agreement binding him to Lugogo. The case is yet to be resolved.
As of now, the player belongs to the Jogoos and if his time at Busoga United is anything to go by, Mugulusi will bring a lot of finesse, industry and quality to the SC Villa offence.
- Shaban Muhammad – Onduparaka FC
As Vipers returned to training ahead of the new season, Shaban Muhamad was nowhere to be seen at Kitende. He reportedly went away without leave, purposely to finalise his forced move back to Arua giants Onduparaka.
Reports had earlier indicated that the undesirable character that has seen him vandalize property at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende was one of the key reasons why he and the club agreed to mutually terminate his contract.
- Joseph Akandwanaho – Express FC
Joseph Akandwanaho joined the reigning UPL champions Express FC from Soltilo Bright Stars where he had massively impressed and also earned a call up for national team duties.
He had an impeccable season last term headlined by his partnership with Samuel Sekamatte but will struggle to displace Godfrey Lwesibawa in the player hierarchy at the Red Eagles for a starting place. A little bit of time and patience might however do the trick.
- Saidi Keni – BUL
Saidi Keni joined BUL FC from SC Villa on a two year contract. The goalkeeper who had spent a couple of seasons at Villa Park as the first choice custodian was reportedly allowed to leave and followed through with the plan.
That’s how the Jinja-based side BUL FC and their head coach Alex Isabirye managed to land his signature with ease.
- Hassan Musana – Gaddafi FC
The former KCCA defender joined new UPL entrants Gaddafi FC on deadline day, the same day his departure was announced at Lugogo. Securing the defender’s services is a big win for the Soldier Boys.
Notably, also, Derrick Ndahiro and Living Kabon joined URA while Joel Mutakubwa, Nicolas Kasozi and Deus Bukenya all joined the reigning UPL champions Express FC.
Not so astounding but significant, Jack Komakech is now a Venom as Geofrey Wasswa, Emmanuel Wasswa and Brian Majwega all joined KCCA in the same transfer window.