By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
As the number of Zimbabwean players plying their trade in foreign lands continues to grow bigger, a future Warrior has emerged at Newcastle United in the form of 17-year-old right-footed midfielder Michael Ndiweni.
Ndiweni is a regular feature for the Magpies’ Under-23 side and was this week among the 20 young players from each English Premier League team selected by a leading United Kingdom publication, The Guardian, as the best young talent at Premier League teams.
The paper has been selecting talented young players with a bright future since 2015 and some of them have gone on to prove their talent.
The much sought after Jadon Sancho, who was identified as a future star in 2016 whilst playing for Manchester City juniors, has gone on to become a superstar in his own right.
Sancho is now a big name for Borrusia Dortmund in Germany and Manchester United tried to lure him to Old Traford with a US$100 million offer, but failed.
The other player the publication selected in 2017 is Callum Hudson Odoi, who is now a first team player at Chelsea. Both are now full England internationals.
“We pick the best young players at each club born between September 1, 2003, and August 31, 2004, an age band known as five-year scholars.
Eligible to play for both England and Zimbabwe, Ndiweni possesses a very decent right foot and an outstanding character.
This was evident last winter when he won a ‘local hero’ award presented by the City’s Evening Chronicle after not only standing up to peer group racism, but dealing with it with, according to citation, exemplary maturity, dignity, understanding and compassion involving a sympathetic form of conflict resolution.
The midfielder, also potentially capable of deployment in defence, is from Throckley, a Tyne Valley village to the west of Newcastle.
His father Kay, is also into football and coaches junior teams in Tyne Valley.
Like many such young players, Zifa must keep a close eye on the boy and bring him home to represent his country of origin.
Below are the other players that The Guardian selected alongside Ndiweni.
Charlie Patino (Arsenal), Ben Chrisene(Aston Villa), Markus Ifill (Brighton and Hove), Michael Melon (Burnely), Charlie Webster (Chelsea), Jadan Raymond (Crystal Palace), Reece Welch (Everton), Stefan Parkes (Fulham), Charlie Allen (Leeds United), Kian Pennant (Leicester City), James Balagizi (Liverpool), Luke Mbete Tabu (Machester City), Marc Jurado (Manchester United), Goran Babic (Southampton), Angtoine Hackford (Sheffield United), Alfie Devine (Tottenham Hotspurs), Rico Richards (West Bromwich Albion), Jamal Baptiste (West Ham United), Kamran Kandola (Wolves). The Chronicle.