Nairobi — Harambee Stars left back Erick Ouma has finally earned his big break into a competitive European league after penning a five-year contract with Swedish top tier side AIK Fotboll after spending one season with third tier side Vasalund IF.
Marcelo, as he is fondly referred as, will join the team in pre-season training in January and has termed the move as a sign of 'exciting times' ahead, saying he is ready to prove his worth at the top level.
"I really feel happy because this is the result of hard work and I am ready for the new challenge. It is the top level and so I have to work extra hard to show that I deserve to be here but I look at this as a great opportunity for me to grow myself," the former Gor Mahia man told Capital Sport.
The energetic fullback joined Vasalund in September last year from Georgian side Kolkhetti Poti where he had played for two season after leaving K'Ogalo.
His performances for the third tier side where he has chalked in 19 games have seen him attract the interest of the top tier, and what made it easier for him to secure the move are the close ranks between AIK and Vasalund.
The two clubs have a partnership that sees players from AIK loaned out to the third tier club and in turn, any players who perform well down there earn an opportunity to scale the heights.
"To develop our game, we need natural options. Erick can play in all positions on the left regardless of the game system, which means that we increase competition and give us greater flexibility in our way of playing," AIK Football Sports Manager Björn Wesström told the club's official website.
"Today, Erick is the regular A-national team member in a nation on strong progress, which is interesting from a market value perspective and we look very much forward to working with Erick's development in the future," he added.
Ouma made headlines in Kenya by breaking into the Gor first team barely a few months after finishing his secondary school education in 2016. He was part of the league winning team before moving to Poti where he played for a season.
He made a move to another Georgian side KS Kastrioti where he spent only six months before joining Vasalund.
"For me it has been all about patience. I don't regret anything but take all the steps I have been through as lessons. I have grown everywhere I went and I could say that is why I am here today. I am looking forward to this new chapter," stated Ouma.