TINO Kadewere (pictured) could soon realise his dreams of playing in Europe’s top leagues after he joined French Ligue 2 side Le Havre AC yesterday, in what is a huge leap in the Warriors star’s ever-rising career.
BY HENRY MHARA
The 22-year-old striker signed a four-year contract with the French’s division one side for a reported fee of €2,5 million.
He joined from Swedish club Djurgårdens IF, where he had spent three years with the club, scoring 13 goals in 43 appearances.
The striker is currently rehabilitating from an injury he suffered last month playing for Djurgårdens IF and is expected to return to full fitness in three months’ time.
Le Havre AC announced the deal in a statement yesterday.
“After long negotiations with the Swedish club, the president of the HAC has decided to invest a significant amount of money to ensure the services of this player who, in the rehabilitation phase, will be fully operational by mid-October,” part of the statement read.
It’s a huge move for a player who, just three years ago, was playing for Harare City.
Kadewere, a former Prince Edward student, moved to Sweden during the summer of 2015 after he impressed at trials with Djurgårdens IF.
He also had trials French Ligue 2 side Sochaux during that time, but decided to join Djurgårdens IF on a loan in August 2015 for the remainder of the season, with an option for the club to sign him permanently on a four-year deal at the end of the year.
He made his Allsvenskan debut in August 2015, and later made his deal permanently for a reported sum of €150 000.
Kadewere scored his first league goal for the club in July 2016, scoring a consolation goal in the 94th minute of a 3-1 home loss to GIF Sundsvall, having come in as a sub in the 85th minute.
It is this season though that the lanky striker had taken the Swedish league by storm.
He was the league’s top goalscorer with eight goals before his season was cut short by an injury last month, and had become a cult hero for his club, where he made history by scoring four goals in a league game against IK Sirius, making him the first Djurgården player since Tommy Berggren in 1978 to net four goals in a single league game.
His status ballooned even more when he helped Zimbabwe to win the Cosafa Cup in South Africa in June, scoring a brace in the final of the competition.
The move to Le Havre AC could be seen as a significant step in his quest to move to the French Ligue 1, which is one of Europe’s top five leagues.
His dream to play in the French top division could be realised as soon as next season if his new team can carry on with the form they showed at the end of last season.
They finished as the best team in the division by winning their last six matches, before narrowly missing promotion into the top-flight league after losing a penalty shoot-out in a promotion play-off final match against Ajaccio.
Le Havre are looking to make a return to the French Ligue 1, where they will face the likes of PSG and Monaco, having been demoted to Ligue 2 in the 2008-2009 season.
The club has a rich history in the country’s football, having made its debut in France’s first-ever championship in 1899 and, on its debut, became the first French club outside Paris to win the league.
The club won the league the following season in 1900. Le Havre have yet to win the current first division of French football, Ligue 1, but has participated in the league 24 times; its last stint being during the 2008-09 season.
The club’s highest honour to date was winning the Coupe de France in 1959.