Football Sport

Sunzu move good

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
STOPILLA Sunzu has made a wise decision to trek back to France. He is on the verge of joining top side Lille coached by Herve Renard.
I was one of the few journalists who questioned Sunzu’s move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua last December.
Sunzu, 26, is European material and deserves to be playing in Europe’s best leagues such as England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
My day was complete on Sunday when I was informed that Sunzu was going back to France to reunite with Renard.
Renard lured Sunzu to French side FC Sochaux in 2013 from Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe.
When Sochaux were demoted, Sunzu returned to Congo and then to China while Renard signed for Ivory Coast, whom he guided to Africa Cup glory in February this year.
At Lille, Sunzu will have a chance to show his skill that could attract some top European clubs.
Sunzu is a top defender who could attract the attention of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal, Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, Arsenal’ Arsene Wenger and Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini.
I salute Sunzu’s handlers for making the right decision.
I am not saying China was not the best destination for Sunzu but I am looking at the player’s progression.
He will up his game in France unlike in China, whose league is still regarded lowly despite attracting big name players in recent times.
I have respect for Chinese football which is growing at a fast rate but we need Zambian players to be playing competitive football.
Having Sunzu playing for Lille might open the door for several Zambian players to move to France.
After all, we have Renard who has Zambia at heart. I remember the Frenchman whispering to me that Zambian players are naturally talented and could play in any league in Europe.
Renard is also chasing for the signature of midfield maestro Rainford ‘Master’ Kalaba, who is currently on the books of TP Mazembe.
The onus is on Sunzu to prove at Lille that Zambian players mean business.
Having a number of players in Europe will contribute to the success of the national team.
I am still keeping my fingers crossed that very soon a Zambian will be a regular in the English league.
Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama is a regular at English side Southampton where our very own Emmanuel Mayuka failed to make a grade.
The good news ‘however’ is that Mayuka is heading to Russian side Spartak Moscow where he is expected to redeem his career.
I hope Sunzu’s move will inspire other Zambian players to aim higher.
Success does not come on a silver plate, you have to earn it through sweat.
Well done Sunzu and all the best at Lille.
Let’s keep in touch on sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com

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