AJAX Cape Town were set to beat last night’s transfer deadline by snapping up Dynamos hitman Christian Joel Ntouba Epoupa on a two-year deal worth a staggering R2,5 million, making him probably the most expensive football player moving from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The South African top-flight league side despatched its scouts to Zimbabwe to search for a striker as well as several other players whom they want to groom and open windows for.
Ajax chief scout Louis Diefaiera and his assistant Patrick Mitangu watched Dynamos playing against Yadah FC on Sunday where Epoupa scored in the 2-0 win with Ocean Mushure scoring the other.
Although they were impressed by both players and other youngsters in the team, the Urban Warriors opted to sign Epoupa immediately.
Epoupa didn’t need to go for trials, which is rare for players moving from Zimbabwe to South Africa, to underline how impressed Ajax were with the player.
The Urban Warriors are not done with their business here as they seek to sign more players in January.
Mitangu, speaking exclusively to NewsDay Sport yesterday, described the transfer fee as the biggest pay cheque for Dynamos.
“It’s a huge transfer fee for Dynamos. We had a fruitful meeting with the Dynamos chairman (Keni Mubaiwa) and we agreed on a two-year deal,” he said yesterday evening. “We are now pushing to have him (Epoupa) registered. He is the only player from those that we have seen we are registering today (last night). The rest we will try to push through their deals in the next transfer window in January.”
This means the Cameroonian international, one of the top goalscorers in the Premiership, is set to miss the big Harare derby against Caps United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The departure will come as a blow to Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa, who is pushing for his first league title as a coach for the club.
It will also come as a heartbreak for the DeMbare fans since the player had become their heartthrob.
Epoupa has been the torch-bearer of the Dynamos attack having scored an incredible eight league goals, including three in their last three games. Those goals had put him in the frame to win the Golden Boot award alongside Caps United’s Dominic Chungwa, who has also scored the same number of goals.
The signing of Epoupa means Caps United newboy John Zhuwawo, one of Ajax’s targets, will now have to wait a bit longer for his dream to join the Urban Warriors to come true.
Several players from Dynamos, Caps United and Ngezi Platinum have been shortlisted to join the Urban Warriors.
From Dynamos, the Ajax scouts are interested in skipper Ocean Mushure, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Cleophas Kapupurika, as well as right-back Peace Makaha and Phakamani Dube, who has played as a makeshift left-back in the absence of the injured Carlos Rusere.
They have also shown interest in the Ngezi Stars quintet of Terrence Dzvukamanja, Quadr Amini, Tichaona Mabvura, Edgar Mhungu and Clive Augusto.