Karikari was one of the key players of Nakhon Ratchasima last season, featuring in 36 games for the Thai club. They eventually finished ninth in the Thai League and the Ghanaian registered seventeen goals for them, scoring across the league and cup competitions.
The 30-year-old started his playing career at Inter Allies in Ghana and has since represented as many as 15 clubs during the past ten years. His longest stay was at AIK Solna in Sweden. Karikari has played in the top divisions of Ukraine, Turkey, and Qatar among others . The striker signed with Uzbekistani team FC Turon for a brief stint shortly after leaving Greek club Enppi SC in 2020, six months after joining Israeli second-division club Hapoel Petah Tikva. Along with Neftchi in Azerbaijan, Karikari has also played for Al-Arabi and Al-Markhiya in the Stars’ League.
This is essentially Chennaiyin’s second signing of a nomadic striker in as many seasons after Lukasz Gikiewicz, who arrived last season after playing for thirteen different clubs in eight years. However, the Marina Machans will be hoping that Karikari lives up to their expectations after Gikiewicz delivered poorly for them with just one goal in 18 outings.
For the past few years, Chennaiyin has struggled to find the right strikers with the players they signed for that position failing to perform. Jakub Sylvester scored twice and provided four assists during the 2020–21 campaign, while players like Esmael Goncalves and Fatkhullo Fatkhulloev combined to score five goals during the entire season. The addition of striker Mirlan Murzaev last year did not help their plight either as he managed just two goals in nineteen games.
After retaining the services of midfielder Rafael Crivellaro, Kwame Karikari will become Chennaiyin’s third foreign acquisition for the upcoming campaign. The signing of Fallou Diagne was revealed last week, and yesterday they confirmed the acquisition of Iranian defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi. Since taking over as manager, Thomas Brdaric has accelerated Chennai’s foreigner hiring. The management has already put together a strong and talented Indian core, and solid foreign additions will help them to establish a case for themselves in the upcoming season.
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