Warriors coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarušic believes France-based midfielder Marshall Munetsi can in the future break into the Spanish La Liga or the Germany Bundesliga after the 23-year-old clinched a new deal at France’s Reims in his debut season.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/TERRY MADYAUTA
Loga heaped praise on the former Orlando Pirates player, whom he said possessed typical African attributes that would set him well to succeed in Germany or Spain. Munetsi signed a one-year contract extension with the French Ligue 1 side which keeps him at the club until 2024.
Loga is yet to preside over the Warriors having only gone through a training camp with the locally-based players who were preparing for the African Nations championships, that were, however, postponed as one of the measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
However, he has been using the lockdown period to learn more about Zimbabwean players.
He is delighted that Stade de Reims have shown their confidence in the Warriors’ star by extending his contract barely a year after he arrived in France.
“Marshall (Munetsi) is a typical example of the talented players that are coming from Zimbabwe,” Loga said.
“They (Reims) extended his contract because they know he is a good and professional player who possesses so many traits of good African players with stability, skill and speed.
“Since he arrived at Reims, he played 21 out of 28 games. It’s not a small number, it’s a big number, especially for someone who had just joined the team from Orlando Pirates.
“He is only 23 years old, I think in the coming years he will be a much-talked about player if he keeps on working hard.
“The player can play in any league, not specifically the English league. He can play in the Spanish, German leagues because he has shown professionalism on and off the field of play,” Logarusic said.
Munetsi stole the show when he had Brazilian superstar Neymar in his pocket as Reims shocked PSG in a league match during the first half of the French season. In addition to stifling Neymar, Munetsi provided an assist in one of his team’s two goals. He has been consistent throughout the season which won him a new and improved deal.
Club president Jean-Pierre Caillot said Munetsi had demonstrated his qualities in his first season after joining during the summer transfer window.
“Marshall was our first recruit in the last summer transfer window. At the time, we responded to the need defined by the staff to be able to count on an athletic player capable of playing in central defence in a midfield position.
“The recruitment cell had studied the man and the player in depth, but there is still this unknown factor linked to cultural and climatic adaptation.
“Marshall justified the confidence placed in him, his state of mind as well as his performances were remarkable.
This extension validates a promising first season.
“On a sporting and human level, Marshall is one of the great satisfactions of the season. This signature touches me all the more since I know all the additional work that the player has done to seize his chance,’’ Caillot said.
The Warriors are expected to battle on two fronts — a ticket to the 2021 African Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup.