By Eddie Chikamhi
Zimbabwe international striker Tino Kadewere believes growing interests from top European clubs for his signature can only spur him on to work harder towards his goal of playing at the highest level in his football career.
Kadewere is one of the most wanted Zimbabwean players in Europe following an impressive run with his French Ligue 2 side Le Havre.
The 23-year-old, who is back home for the festive holidays, is currently one of the most prolific forwards in Europe’s second tier football going into the mid-season winter break, after banging in 17 goals in 19 starts this season.
His feat has spawned interest from some of the big leagues in Europe like the English Premiership, the Spanish La Liga, the French Ligue 1 and the Turkish Super Lig.
Kadewere confirmed there were suitors from all over Europe yesterday when The Herald caught up with him to discuss his red-hot goal-scoring form and the jostling for his signature.
He said apart from the French Ligue 1, there were also interests from Spain, England and Turkey.
Kadewere joined Le Havre last year from Swedish side Djugardens.
He told The Herald that he has surprised even himself with the way things have turned out at Le Havre.
Kadewere also shared the secret behind his growing success story.
“Firstly, I would like to thank God for this because to be honest I never thought one day it would happen. But because of Him a dream came true. However, this is not the end, I will keep working hard for more blessings,” he said.
“I think hard work and prayer help a lot. I have been working extra hard and I think it is paying off very well and I will keep going.
“My inspiration is my family, when I go on to that field I have them in mind, I know who I am working for and will always have them in my mind at all the time.”
Kadewere enjoys spending the holidays with his family in Harare’s high-density suburb of Highfield, but miles away in Europe, some high ranking club officials could actually be scratching their heads during this festive break plotting how best they could land his services.
The Warriors star still has three more years on his contract with Le Havre after he signed a four-year deal with the French Ligue 2 side at the beginning of the season for a reported fee of €2,5 million.
He said his major goal at the moment was to help Le Havre gain promotion into the French Ligue 1.
Le Hevre are currently in seventh place half way through the campaign. They are 11 points off the pace in the race led by Lens who have 40 points with 19 more games to be played in the second round. Their next match will be on January 10 against Niort.
Kadewere scored his 17th goal last Friday in their 1-1 draw against Chambly to stretch his lead at the top of the Golden Boot charts to six goals.
The Zimbabwe international striker has scored four times in his last five games and is showing no signs of slowing down ahead of rivals Adrian Grbic of Austria and French player Yoane Wissa, who have scored 11 goals each.
Kadewere has contributed more than half of his team’s goals this season, finding the target in 13 of the 19 games he has played. He has also weighed in with four assists for Le Havre.
The month of January will be key to knowing the future of the young forward, whose 17-goal haul in French Ligue 2 is an achievement which had not been matched since Famara Diedhiou four years ago.
“I did not set any personal goal for myself but for the team and the goal is to try and go to Ligue 1,” said Kadewere.
But with the growing interests from across Europe, it appears he might not be able to see the dream through while still at Le Havre.
Although he was not keen to discuss the clubs that have made formal approaches for his services, European news outlets have been awash this week with stories linking him with various suitors, with French Ligue 1 side Lyon leading the race.
There are also strong links with Turkish giants Galatasaray while Real Valladolid from Spain have also been in the picture. English Premiership side Crystal Palace and another Turkish side Beskitas are also reportedly monitoring the lanky forward.
“I would not deny that because it is what’s happening right now. There a lot of teams mostly France, Spain, England and also Turkey and to be honest that (interest from those clubs) gives me the courage to keep working hard but God will lead the way.
“And, about the clubs that have made official approaches, I do not think I’m in a position to discuss about that because I have people who take care of that. My job is done on the pitch, anything else besides that can be done by my manager.
“New challenges would be great but also staying in France will be a good thing for me because I understand everything like the language and a few important stuff,” said Kadewere. The Herald