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Maswanhise feels Zim love



TEENAGE sensation Tawanda Maswanhise says he is feeling the love from Zimbabweans as he continues to make waves at English football club Leicester City, although he could not commit himself to playing for the Warriors in future.

The 18-year-old was born in Harare before moving to London at the age of two.

He is the son of former top Zimbabwean sprinter Jeffrey Maswanhise, who has publicly stated his desire to see the teenager play for the Warriors.

The immensely-talented winger has not been capped at any level, making him eligible to play for either Zimbabwe or England at international level.

He has been a popular figure in the past few days after dazzling for Leicester in their pre-season friendly matches, playing the opening 45 minutes against Burton Albion and then impressing again during the first half versus Wycombe Wanderers.

Maswanhise is one of the four junior players who joined Brendan Rodgers’ outfit on their pre-season training camp with the hope of impressing and possibly making a breakthrough into the senior team for the upcoming league season.

Those impressive two games have seen his stoke rising, particularly back home where Warriors fans are agitating for him to be included in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers which begins next month.

“I’m getting quite a lot of love over there (in Zimbabwe) because my dad obviously used to be a former sprinter for Zimbabwe and obviously he’s got a lot of friends and family and fans over there. They are showing a lot of love,” he told the club’s official website.

He has received rave views in the past few days.

Having spent a decade at Leicester City, the youngster says he is enjoying his time at the club.

“I joined when I was seven or eight years old,” he explained.

“I’ve been here for 10 years now and when I was younger, I knew that there would be good opportunities for me here, and I’ve been up through all of the age groups.”

Such has been his performances for the Club’s Under-18s in 2020/21, Maswanhise trained with the first team and was named in a Premier League squad for the first time ahead of City’s clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Reflecting on his inclusion in the matchday squad, he said: “I felt confident when I got told the news the night before that I was in the squad and I didn’t really feel any nerves until I was on the bench.

“It was a good experience inside the changing room. The love and all the togetherness inside the changing room was quite big in there, so I felt confident and I was ready to come on.

“We stayed overnight in Manchester, Salford I think it was and I felt relaxed, thinking about what if I do come on. I was just thinking about different scenarios, if I do come on or if I don’t and it was quite good actually.

“In that week or so in the lead up to that, I was training with the first team. It’s been tough but I’m managing, I’m getting better and I’m improving day-by-day, so as long as I’m improving day-by-day, I can show the coaches what I’m doing.”

Maswanhise also made the final squad for the FA Cup final against Chelsea last season which saw him picking a winners’ medal.

After missing the team’s last friendly match against QPR at the weekend, he would be hoping to return to the line-up when Leicester conclude their pre-season games against Spanish giants Villarreal tomorrow.

The Foxes then face Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, a game used as a curtain raiser to the premier league season.

He is one of the junior players included in the senior squad

By the time the 2016 league champions start their league campaign with a home game against Wolverhampton on Saturday next week, Maswanhise would be hoping to have done enough to convince Rodgers that he deserves to play in the senior squad.

Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara

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