Transfer Centre

Sky Sports Scout - McDonald Mariga

We run the rule over Kenyan starlet McDonald Mariga

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

NAME: McDonald Mariga AGE: 22 (4th April, 1987) BORN: Nairoba, Kenya POSITION: Defender CLUB: Inter Milan FACTS: A failure to get a work-permit prevented him sealing a move to Manchester City. Sky Sports Scout Ratings: 0-10 - No hoper 11-20 - Should look elsewhere 21-30 - Might not make it 31-40 - Has work to do 41-50 - Keep an eye on him 51-60 - Great prospect 61-70 - On his way to the top 71-80 - Already World-class

Our Scout will report back and you can comment on what you think of our appraisal.

Also, in association with Football Manager, we give all readers the chance to win a copy of the latest game by nominating a player.

You can only nominate a player by emailing here, including the word 'Scout' in your subject line and please check to make sure we haven't already covered the player!

Should your player get reviewed by our scout, and you were first to send in his name, then you will win a copy of Football Manager 2010.

Latest under our scout's gaze is Inter Milan star McDonald Mariga - recommended by Sky Sports reader Fahim Rahman.

The scout reports...

McDonald Mariga was one of the most sought after players in the recent transfer window.

The Sky Sports Scout now checks on the highly-rated central midfielder.

Kenyan international Mariga shone in his homeland before he was snapped up by lower-league Swedish outfit Enkopings.

Despite aged just 18, Mariga shone and was snapped up by top-flight Helsingborgs.

Despite stepping up two divisions, Mariga was not fazed and soon became Helsingborgs prized asset after just 12-months with the club.

Harry Rednapp, then at Portsmouth, was understood to be keen in the summer of 2007 - but instead he was snapped up by Italian side Parma on loan with an option for a permanent deal.

It was little surprise that Parma made the deal permanent in 2008. Mariga established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Serie A, and it was little shock when both Manchester City and Inter Milan made their move for him.

Roberto Mancini thought he had him, but Mariga was refused a work-permit to play in England and Inter stepped in to land him.

But why did two of the top clubs in Europe want him? Well quite easy after seeing him in action.

Mariga is the embodiment of a modern midfielder, a pure athlete who can cover every blade of grass on the field.

Standing at well over 6ft, Mariga can easily be compared to the likes of Patrick Vieira or Yaya Toure, and yes he is very much in the same mould.

But he arguably better going forward from either of these and his six goals in 37 games for Helsingborgs, were witness to this and he does need to improve that aspect of his game now he has playing at a higher level.

The scout says...

Being just 22, he has a lot to learn with the odd stray pass and mistimed challenge being a consequence of this, but under Jose Mourninho's tutelage, Africa's next big star could be on the horizon.

The Scout rating...

Shooting: 7 out of 10

Passing: 8 out of 10

Tackling: 9 out of 10

Heading: 7 out of 10

Pace: 7 out of 10

Vision: 7 out of 10

Current ability: 8 out of 10

Potential ability: 10 out of 10


Current value: £7million

Potential value: £25million

Your opinion...

You have read our opinion of Smalling - now we want your views. Have you seen Smalling in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?

And if you have spotted anyone you think we should feature then please get in touch using the same form. We will look to send out the Scout to follow up some of your leads.