Football Sport

Mayuka should redeem his career

MAYUKA

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
THE European transfer window is open and a number of players are moving from one club to the other.
One high-profile transfer was that of goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who left Spanish giants Real Madrid for Portuguese side FC Porto while Radamel Falcao left Manchester United for champions Chelsea.
I expected to hear that Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka’s handlers are pushing for a move from English side Southampton.
Mayuka moved to St Mary’s in August 2013 but has failed to hit the ground running.
He spent last season on the bench and this cost him his position at the national team.
He has scored only two goals for Southampton and this is not a good record for a striker who guided Zambia to glory at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
There is no need for Mayuka to insist on staying at Southampton or the Saints as they are called by their fans.
If it means requesting for a transfer, let him do so. His lack of game time is worrying and he should realise this.
Southampton have quality strikers in Sadio Mane of Senegal, Jay Rodriguez, Shane Long and Juanmi among others and Mayuka should find plan B.
Plan B is finding a team either in the English championship so that he resurrects his career or moving to other leagues where he will have game time.
With the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers around the corner and the Russia 2018 World Cup preliminary draws set for this Saturday, the Chipolopolo need a fit Mayuka to guide them to the two showpieces.
Mayuka, 24, did it in 2012 when he steered Zambia to glory at the Africa Cup in Libreville, Gabon, and he can do it again.
After all, he has age on his side.
Ghanaian midfielder Kwesi Appiah turns up for a team in the championship and is a key member of the Black Stars. He was part of the team that finished runners-up to Ivory Coast at the 2015 Equatorial Guinea Africa Cup of Nations.
This is not the time for Mayuka to feel pity for himself but to make a decision that will impact on his career.
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Hats off to the under-23 national team for holding Ivory Coast to a goalless draw in last Saturday’s 2015 Senegal Africa Under-23 Championship second round first leg in Abidjan.
The under-23 technical staff and players should ensure Ivory Coast fall in the return leg on August 1 in Lusaka.
They have shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with more hardwork, qualification to the Senegal finals is certain.
The team should focus on the ball and avoid a repeat of the Nigeria debacle when the West Africans beat Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka after a goalless draw in Abuja in the 2015 Congo Brazzaville All-Africa games qualifier.
Good luck guys and let us interact on sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com

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