BY KEVIN MAPASURE
WARRIORS forward Tino Kadewere (pictured) has returned to training at Olympic Lyon, setting himself up for a potential debut at the French giants on Friday as opportunities are set to open with the likely departure of stars including Memphis Depay.
Kadewere returned to training at the end of last week following his visit to Zimbabwe for the funeral of his brother Prince.
Lyon posted on their social media pages that Kadewere, who missed last week’s season opener against Dijon, had returned to training.
As he pushes to earn his debut, potentially against Bordeaux this Friday, Lyon are grappling with the likely departure of Depay, who confirmed that there was interest in him from Barcelona.
The departure of Depay, who scored a hat-trick against Dijon, and possibly Moussa Dembele, who both eye Champions League football, would certainly give Kadewere the chance to claim a regular place in the team.
Lyon spent so much on him, which shows how confident they are in him, but he would be the first to admit that he faces tough competition if he is to break into a team with such stars.
British newspaper Daily Mirror reported yesterday that Depay was unlikely to stay on at Lyon, who struggled last season and failed to qualify for any European competition.
In that report, Depay confirmed that Barcelona had expressed interest in his services.
“We will see what will happen. I’ll report to training and we’ll see what happens. I haven’t heard much more from my agent. I know that there is interest, but I don’t have much to say because I don’t know much about it,” he said following the Netherlands’ 1-0 defeat to Italy in a Uefa Nations League tie on Monday.
Earlier, Depay also failed to guarantee a future with Lyon.
“I don’t see the future. I do not know if I will do the full season here. I have been here for four years, I became captain. After that you look at your career, there is no Champions League. At the moment I don’t know.”
Kadewere faces competition for the strikers’ role from Depay, Dembele and Toko Ekambi to mention just a few.
But on his arrival, he pledged to work hard to force his way into the team.
“I obviously think that in football, there are indisputable substitutes and incumbents. But it all depends on my training performance but also on that of other players. I also respect the players who are there and who were there before my arrival. Of course, there is the question of being number one or number two, but the most important thing is obviously to play the best you can in training. And then it’s the coach’s decision.”