‘Breakthrough’ for Tino

BY HENRY MHARA

TINO Kadewere could become Olympique Lyonnais’ main striker with reports suggesting that French international Moussa Dembele is heading for Atletico Madrid.

Dembele has been the team’s main man in attack in recent seasons, but has been struggling with injuries this season.

Kadewere, who arrived from Ligue 2 side Le Havre at the start of the season as an understudy to the French international, has taken full advantage of Dembele’s misfortune to cement his position in the starting line-up.

Despite the former Harare City player’s sparkling form for the French giants this season, there were lingering fears that he could lose his position in the team the moment Dembele regained full fitness.

But that is set to change as the former Celtic player is reportedly on the verge of signing for Atletico Madrid. That means less competition for Kadewere.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported that the frontman jetted into Madrid yesterday to undergo his medicals ahead of a £35 million switch.

According to the report, he will initially join Diego Simeone’s side on loan before making a permanent move in the European summer.

“It is not completely settled, but it is progressing,” said Simeone when asked about Dembele after Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Sevilla on Tuesday night.
“At the next Press conference, I should be able to answer your question without any problem,” he added.

Dembele’s departure should ease competition for Kadewere, who has, however, managed to strike a deadly combination with former Manchester United superstar Memphis Depay and Cameroonian Karl Toko Ekambi in Lyon’s fearsome front three.

The trio has scored 27 league goals among themselves to propel their side top of the log standings midway through the first half of the season.

Depay is the top scorer with eleven goals while Ekambio has netted nine. It is Kadewere, however, who continues to defy odds in his debut season after contributing seven goals.

His sparkling form has seen him voted Lyon’s best find of the season by the club’s supporters.

Together with Ekambi, they have been nominated for December player of the month in Ligue 1.

Ekambi looks the favourite though after scoring four goals and providing two assists in the month, while Kadewere scored three and provided two assists.
Lille’s Yusuf Yazici, who scored two goals and an assist in the league last month, is the other nominee.

In addition, Kadewere was on Tuesday named in L’Equipe Best 11 of Ligue 1 team, together with teammates Thiago Mendes and Lucas Paqueta
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