ONLINE / GARIKAI TUNHIRA
ORLANDO Pirates utility man Marshall Munetsi has signed for French Ligue 1 side Reims, as first exclusively revealed by NewsDay Sport.
The 22-year-old‚ who can play in defence or midfield‚ was a solid performer for The Buccaneers this past season‚ and his loss will be felt by coach Micho Sredojevic.
He had been linked with a move to clubs in France and Belgium in recent weeks.
“First and foremost‚ I would like to thank the Chairman and management for all the support they have given me ever since I arrived at the club‚” Munetsi said in a statement released by the club yesterday.
“I came here as a young boy, but now I leave as a man. I would also like to thank the coaches‚ my teammates and most importantly the fans of this wonderful club for all the love and support they’ve shown me.
“As I turn the page to a new chapter in my football career‚ I look forward to the new challenge this presents, but as I move forward I can never forget my roots … Once a Pirate‚ Always a Pirate!”
The Zimbabwe international joined Pirates in July 2016 from former National First Division side FC Cape Town‚ but spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Baroka FC.
Reims finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season and have eight other players from across the African continent on their books‚ including Madagascar defender Thomas Fontaine.
It is the third time in three-a-half years that Pirates have sold a player to Ligue 1‚ after Kermit Erasmus (Stade Rennes) in 2016 and Lyle Foster (Monaco) in January.
Munetsi made 14 league starts for the Buccaneers during the 2018/19 season.
The player is currently with the Zimbabwe senior national team, preparing for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament set to take place in Egypt next week Friday.