Can Jean Ahoua allow Simba to move on from Clatous Chama?

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 10:10 AM Jul 08 2024
Photo: Courtesy of Simba
Can Jean Ahoua

ALL eras come to an end. The nature of football is that even for the greats and the loyal, time or tolerance wears away effectiveness, and a player's stay at a club—however long or loved—will come to its final game.

The unthinkable has finally happened for Simba fans, Clatous Chota Chama is no longer part of the team.

The Zambian attacking midfielder has joined arch-rivals Young Africans on a free transfer ending his six-year stay with Simba. 

Chama has left Simba with a gargantuan hole to fill in the starting XI. In truth, he won’t be replaced completely.

Simba did not waste any time in finding a replacement. Just a few days after saying farewell to the playmaker they once took from Power Dynamos, Simba went to West Africa and signed Jean Charles Ahoua from Stella Club d’Adjame.

In a style similar to that of Chama, Ahoua (pictured) is an expert at playing the pass before the assist or the pass that sets up a dangerous team move that eventually results in a goalscoring chance.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder was one of the most sought-after young players in Africa. The Ivorian put together nine assists and 12 goals for Stella Club d’Adjame last season. 

He was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season in the Ivorian Ligue 1.

Following his goal-scoring exploits, Simba will be hoping he can continue his form in front of goal. His speed, creativity, and ability to work in tight spaces is another excellent addition to Simba for the new season.

Despite those similarities with Chama, Ahoua is not the same player. Off the ball, especially, the Ivorian will be expected to offer a significantly greater level of energy and work rate than Chama could muster and fill the creative void.

Ahoua has shown he can both score and create but for any Simba supporter expecting him to come flying out of the gates with goals and assists, be cautious.

When you have a playmaker at your club for six years the man to follow in their footsteps will always have that cloud of expectancy hanging over their shoulders. Ahoua isn’t there yet. What Chama achieved has longevity.

In Ahoua, Simba have signed a younger player who has room for improvement. At 22, he still has plenty of time to develop his game and flourish into a top player.

It is highly likely Ahoua will have the right mentality because he has a point to prove. It won’t be like Chama, who is at a different point in his career. This is a young, hungry player who wants to establish his name.

Ahoua does not quite possess the standing Chama did in 2018 despite arriving on the back of an excellent season back home in Ivory Coast. Unlike Ahoua, Chama had proved himself in the CAF Champions League during his time at ZESCO United.

It is up to Simba to understand what type of player they are signing. He might have come as a direct replacement for Chama but he is eleven years younger than the Zambian midfielder.

He is going to inject some creativity, but to place the entire burden on his shoulders is a bit too much responsibility at his age. But he can have a similar impact to this Simba side if given the required time to settle down.

There is no doubt his best years are ahead of him and with more experience, he will only get better and who knows where that will take him.

If Ahoua quickly adjusts to his new surroundings, he could be the man to set Simba's attackers free and allow the club to forget and move on from Chama.