Player Profile: Aaron Mokoena
Full Name: Aaron Mokoena
Date of Birth: 25th November 1980, Johannesburg
Nationality: South African
Squad Number: 15
Internationals: Capped at Full level for South Africa
Signed: December 2004
Previous Clubs: Ajax Cape Town (South Africa), K.F.C Germinal Beerschot (Loan, Germany) Racing Genk (Belgium)
Aaron Mokoena, like his fellow countryman and now also Blackburn Rovers team mate Benni McCarthy started his career in South Africa with Ajax Cape Town.
Eventually a move to Ajax, whose feeder club are South African club Ajax Cape Town happened. Whilst with Ajax Mokoena was to be sent for a loan spell with German side K.F.C Germinal Beerschot before making the move into Belgian Football with Racing Genk.
Having moved around a fair bit in the early years of the 21st century he found his way to Ewood Park, being signed by in late December 2004. His debut came in the FA Cup as a substitute in January 2005.
"The Axe" as he is known is a central defender who reads the game well breaking down attacking moves with crucial tackles. Mokoena is also more than comfortable in a defensive midfield role (in which he is mostly used) so his versatility makes him a very useful weapon for Hughes.
He become his countries youngest-ever International when aged 18-years, two months and 26 days he made his debut in 1999. He had already been named in previous squads at only 17 a year prior. A regular in the set-up with over 50 caps to his name, he also leads his country now and scored his first South African goal in October 2006.
Mokoena is seen as a player possibly being groomed as Tugay's eventually replacement. Although he lacks the killer pass the Turkish master possess Mokoena certainly has the defensive qualities to match, if not better the Turkish legend.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
League: 38 (18 as sub)
FA Cup: 7 (1 as sub)
League Cup: 3 (all 3 as sub)
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 48 - 0 goals
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