BY HENRY MHARA
TINO Kadewere’s stock continues to skyrocket in France with his former coach at Le Havre envisaging an even brighter future for the Warriors star man.
So popular has Kadewere become at Olympique Lyonnais that the French giants have put his jersey on auction to raise funds for charity.
The striker joined the Ligue 1 side at the beginning of the year.
Four goals and two assists in the 12 games that he has featured this season has justified the reported €12 million that the French giants forked out to prise away the former Harare City man.
His former coach at Le Havre, Oswald Tachot was not surprised that Kadewere had hit the road running in his career in the French top league.
“He is a very co-ordinated boy who has a great first touch of the ball,” Tachot said. “I found his talent very comprehensive. He was able to create chances, and is a good finisher. When he arrived, he was not very strong physically, but he has greatly improved.”
Kadewere’s affable character has helped him acclimatise to his new environment.
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“He was very smiling, open and always in a good mood. He immediately integrated well by learning French and by bringing his wife and son to France. He was grateful for the club for signing him. He is a fine boy and he lacked power when he arrived. But he made sure to use the other attributes that he has. He is clever with both feet.”
The former Harare City player joined a star-studded Lyon squad and is competing for a starting place with superstars such as former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay, former Villareal striker Toko Ekambi and France international Moussa Dembele.
Few gave him the chance to command a first team jersey ahead of some of the accomplished forwards the game has seen, but Kadewere has started eight of the 13 league matches that the team he played. He is the club’s third top goalscorer behind Ekambi and Depay.
“He somehow managed to integrate in a team which has just come out of a semi-final of the Champions League and which has not sold its best offensive players. Despite everything, he manages to have playing time and to be efficient. He must take advantage of his current good period to get more confidence and so that others have confidence in him as well. Because when you arrive at OL from Ligue 2, the players don’t necessarily take you as a direct competitor. Finally, he has scored some very important goals,” Tachot said in an interview with Eurosport.
Kadewere started in Lyon’s 3-1 win away to FC Metz on Sunday and was replaced by Dembele just after the half hour mark as the side moved third on the log, two points behind Paris Saint Germain.
The 24-year-old will this weekend be rubbing shoulders with the PSG superstars including Neymar Jnr, Mbappé and Di María when Lyon visit Parc des Princes on Sunday.
lFollow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara