Tino's fresh start . . . La Liga sojourn delights striker

Tino Kadewere

ZIMBABWE international striker Tino Kadewere has expressed delight after his switch to La Liga side RCD Mallorca from Olympique Lyon on a season loan deal that could culminate into a €10 million permanent switch.

If Mallorca decide to sign on the Warriors striker on a permanent basis, he will earn himself a hefty signing on fee.

The 26-year-old has played in the French Lique 1 in the last two seasons playing a total of 48 league games with Olympique Lyon and scoring 11 goals. He also played five Europa League games with the French team. However, the injuries he sustained at the start of last term limited his game time at the French giants, eventually falling down the perking order.

He played in 15 games for Peter Bosz’s side, most of them cameo appearances and scoring just once.

With opportunities and goals getting limited, the Zimbabwean international is happy to finally get a restart of his football career in a new environment.

The Warriors forward has made history as he becomes the first Zimbabwean to play at the top level of the game in Spain.

“To be honest, I am very excited, happy and proud. It is a unique moment for me,” he said.

He has seen the first games of his new team in which RCD Mallorca collected four points, after the first victory of the season in Vallecas.

“I’ve been watching the last few games and I really like the way the team plays. I’m a team player. A footballer who always tries to help the team, always tries to do what’s best for the group.”

Kadewere has already left his first message for the Majorcan fans.

“Hope to see you guys soon. I’m so happy to be here.”

In an emotional parting note, the forward also shared his support for Lyon.

“Dear Lyon fans. This message is to confirm my loan for a season to Mallorca. The time has, therefore, come for me to live a new experience in a new championship. Before starting my new adventure, I wanted to thank the Olympic Lyon institution from the bottom of my heart. Thanks to Lyon for facilitating this loan. From the president to the employers, including the various technical staff and of course, my teammates, I wanted to thank you all for these last months spent together. The ambitions are high and the team is of high quality. I am sure a successful season awaits you, you deserve it. I will continue to follow you and encourage you. See you soon!”

The Spanish side is coached by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre Onaindia. The gaffer also coached Egypt at the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals which they hosted and prevailed 1-0 over Zimbabwe in the opening match. Having won the three group matches, they were knocked out by South Africa in the round of 16.

The La Liga side has Senegal international striker Ndiaye Diedhiou on its books and the arrival of Kadewere brings to two the number of Africans at the club.

Malloca are in ninth place, with four points from three matches into the new campaign. They won their last match away to Rayo Vallecano.

In terms of the profile of the leagues, moving from France to Spain is an upgrade for the former Harare City forward who will be hoping to make an instant impact.

He has already got down to business and yesterday the club shared a picture of the forward at training with his new teammates.

Mallorca host Girona on Saturday. While that match might come too soon for Kadewere, it is likely to generate interest from Zimbabwean football fans.

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