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Tino Kadewere legend grows in France

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Tino Kadewere

Tino Kadewere legend grows in France. The last of Kadewere’s seven goals for log leaders Olympique Lyon came in a 3-0 victory over Nantes on Wednesday. Zimbabwe international striker Tino Kadewere’s fairytale rise in French football continues with the player now sitting joint sixth on the goal charts in his Ligue 1 debut season.

It was the 24-year-old forward’s third goal in the last four matches for Lyon, a period in which he has also contributed two assists to Lyon’s cause. Kadewere is arguably one of the best newcomers in Ligue 1 so far alongside Cameroonian teammate Karl Toko Ekambi, who is third on the league scoring charts with nine goals.

Such has been Kadewere’s impact in France that a Shona expression “Famba Tino” (Go Tino) is now a popular expression in Ligue 1 and across the world, especially among the Lyon faithful.

Only a few would have predicted that Kadewere would make such a huge impression at a big club such as Lyon when he made a 15 million euros switch from Le Havre in January.

Even Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic has been left raving about his striker. “I have been closely watching him and i must admit that the boy is a formidable force. He is riding high like a Warrior. He is raising the country’s flag high,”

Logarusic told Panafricanfootball.com. Logarusic is also praying that Kadewere’s fine form spills into the country’s next Afcon assignments against Botswana and Zambia set for March 2021.

“My hope is that he keeps this form until we restart the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next year. We need him to keep his A-game and score more goals for us. Last time in Algeria, he scored although we lost, but in the coming matches he will score as we win.

“We have great players, Musona (Knowledge), Billiat (Khama), Nakamba (Marvelous) and many others who I know Tino can form a strong combination with, just like he has done with ekambi and Depay at Lyon.

“I am hoping he stays injury-free because when one is doing good sometimes injuries can kill the momentum which is what we don’t want for our player,” he said. However, Kadewere is yet to make an impression in the national team although he showed glimpses of a player who features in big leagues the last time out against Algeria.

He scored when Zimbabwe lost 3-1 away to Algeria in the Afcon qualifiers last month. But it has not been altogether an easy year for Kadewere who lost his brother Prince in August ahead of the start of the French top-flight league.

Kadewere would go on to miss the first match of the league campaign for Lyon against Dijon and eventually managed just a single goal in his first eight appearances.

But since then the 2019/20 Ligue 2 top scorer has netted six goals in eight matches including two assists, taking his tally to seven goals in 16 matches. It is Kadewere’s prolific partnership with captain Memphis Depay and Ekambi which has French football buzzing. The trio is already being compared to some of the best that have donned the Lyon colours in its 70 years of existence.

“At 24, Kadewere could well make his mark in history through the trio he forms today with Karl Toko Ekambi and Memphis Depay,” French publication France24 wrote last week. “Without European football this season and the club largely playing one match per week, the Lyon team often remains stable and allows the ‘KtM’ trio to be involved in almost every match. this has strengthened the bond among the three players, who represent 77,4% of OL’s 31 goals,” said France 24.

Depay, Kadewere and Ekambi have scored a combined total of 24 goals so far in the season. France24 also made reference to some legendary trios that have represented the club in the past.

“OL have known exciting trios in the past. Di Nallo, Nestor Combin and Angel Rambert at the start of the 1960s with a final and a victory in the Coupe de France (1963, 1964), then Di Nallo was part of another trio that achieved the same success (1971, 1973),” the publication said.

But with Depay’s signature being chased by European giants, the trio may not go beyond the January transfer window. Kadewere’s rich vein of form has seen him relegate highly-rated French striker Moussa Dembélé to the bench. He is being tipped to scale heights reached by Lyon legends such as Nallo, Combin, Bernard Lacombe, serge Chiesa, sonny Anderson, Karim Benzema, Lisandro Lopez, Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette.

Source – Bulawayo24

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