‘Tino good enough for Madrid, Barcelona’

BY HENRY MHARA

DJURGÅRDENS IF sporting director Bo Andersson believes their former star player Tino Kadewere is destined for greater heights in his football career and sees him joiing either Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona, or any of the big clubs in the English Premier League.

The Warriors star spent three years at the Swedish league side after joining from Harare City in 2015 for a reported sum of €150 000.

It was this club that introduced the 25-year-old player to European football before transferring him to Le Havre, with the French Ligue 2 side paying US$2,5 million for his signature in July 2018.

His fine performances earned him a move to French giants Olympique Lyon in January 2020, with the Ligue 1 side forking out in excess of US$15 million in transfer fees.

Djurgårdens’ boss Andersson, the man who pulled all strings to sign Kadewere after he had impressed during trials with the team, is convinced that the Zimbabwean striker has all the qualities to play for a top European club.

The Warriors star scored 13 goals only during his time in Sweden, but it was enough for the club boss to see that the player had potential to become one of the most effective strikers in the world.

“He could play at Real Madrid or Barcelona. Or the biggest clubs in England. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t,” Andersson told a United Kingdom football website Firsttimefinish this week.

Andersson revealed that if given an opportunity to choose his next destination, Kadewere would pick Real Madrid over other top European clubs.

“He always talked about how Real Madrid is his dream,” he said.

Kadewere has not hidden his love for Madrid and has publicly stated his desire to play for the Spanish giants later in his career.

It appears he is doing everything right at Lyon to earn his dream move.

His explosive start at the club has been praised by Real Madrid’s star striker Karim Benzema, while Marca, an influential Spanish daily newspaper which focuses on daily activities at Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, last month profiled the Zimbabwean.

Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has continued to heap praises on Kadewere, who has cemented his place in the squad’s starting line-up.

“He is good with his back to goal, his one-touch game is good. He has good movement and is selfless. He is a tall player, good with headers,” Garcia told Firsttimefinish.

In 23 appearances for Lyon in his debut season, Kadewere has scored nine goals and made three assists.

Expected Goals (XG), which provides statistics for teams and players from top European leagues, shows that Kadewere should be on 8.1 goals and so he is defying expectation.

He has attempted 47 shots in total this season, the same as Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder, who has scored 11.

Kadewere also ranks ninth in the league (and third in Lyon’s squad) on goal-creating actions per 90 with 0.65.

“We have played a lot of good matches and we need to keep working hard in order to finish the league campaign with lots of points to get back into the Champions League,” Kadewere said.

“When I got here, I realised I had good teammates who work all the time with me, and who talk to me a lot. That explains why I’ve been able to adapt so quickly. When you play with players like my teammates, then it’s magnificent,” he added.

Lyon dropped to third place on the log standings at the weekend after a shock 1-0 home defeat to Montpellier.

They have a chance to move top of the league table when they travel to Brest on Friday, two days before title rivals Lille and PSG play their matches.

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