Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Joy and pain for Muskwe

By Eddie Chikamhi

England-based Zimbabwe international, Admiral Muskwe, ended his loan spell with Championship side Wycombe Wanderers with something to smile about after he won Goal of the Season prize. He was honoured at the club’s end-of-season awards.

Admiral Muskwe in training at Leicester City
Admiral Muskwe in training at Leicester City

The 22-year-old, who was on a short loan deal from English Premiership side Leicester City, was rewarded for his stunning strike, in the 2-2- draw at Swansea, two weeks ago.

Another Leicester City loanee, Josh Knight, scooped both the Players’ Player of the Year, and the Supporters’ Playerer of the Year, awards.

The awards were handed out at a private ceremony at Adams Park on Thursday afternoon.

Muskwe’s loan deal officially comes to an end on May 31 but he could have his Last Supper with Wanderers today before returning to Leicester.

The forward is part of the side preparing for the final match of the English Championship season against Middlesbrough at Riverside this afternoon.

Sadly, for Muskwe and his teammates, Wycombe’s season is set to end in relegation, into the third-tier English League One today.

It has been a roller-coaster ride, for the lanky forward, in the last five months.

He scored some memorable goals and, at some point, was involved in a grueling contest against English Premiership giants, Tottenham Hotspurs, in the English FA Cup.

Muskwe, who started that match before being replaced in the second half, got his chance to go into battle against some of the game’s global stars.

These include Welsh superstar Gareth Bale, England captain Harry Kane, South Korean superstar, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko, Toby Aderweireld, Eric Lamela and Lucas Moura.

Wycombe lost 1-4.

Muskwe was loaned out to the Championship side, in January this year, as the club sought ways to find an escape route, from the throes of impending relegation.

The deal was also good for him, as he wanted to get some senior first team playing opportunities.

He can’t get such chances, right now, in the Leicester senior team, whose attack is fronted by England international, Jamie Vardy. In-form Nigerian international forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, has been flying, for the Foxes, in recent months, and became the fourth Nigerian to win the Premiership’s Player of the Month.

He won the award after scoring five times in March. Iheanacho joined his fellow Nigerians, Jay Jay Okocha, Peter Odemwingie and Odion Ighalo, who have won the award in the past. Iheanacho also became the first Leicester City player to claim the prize since Vardy in October 2019.

“I’m so pleased and honoured to win this award,” he told Leicester’s official website.

“I’m really enjoying playing at the minute and hopefully I can push on and help the team to finish as high as possible this season.”

Muskwe has also been scoring, although not at the rate provided by the Nigerian, with the Zimbabwean finding the target three times, in 16 Championship appearances, for Wycombe.

He grabbed his first Championship goal in his first match against Brentford, who were at some point odds-on favourites, to secure a direct place in the Premiership next season.

But, there was a two-month goal-drought for Muskwe before he rediscovered his touch again, in the 3-0 thrashing of Rotherham, last month.

His last Championship goal, the half volley that won him the award, came in the 2-2 away draw to Swansea.

Fans voted for the Goal of the Season online and Muskwe’s left-footer polled more votes than those scored by Uche Ikpeazu against Brentford and Bournemouth.

Muskwe was named in the English Championship Team of the Week, following his fine performance, in that game against Swansea.

The stint at Wycombe was his second senior spell, away from the Foxes, having spent the second half of the last campaign with League Two winners, Swindon.

Before the recent loan move was agreed, the 22-year-old had underlined his potential in the Leicester City development side, after scoring six times, in eight games, across all competitions. He had also grabbed 11 goals from 20 appearances the previous season.

Leicester have faith in the Zimbabwean forward.

They renewed his professional contract in 2019. The Foxes management have stressed they intend to help their youth player get more exposure, playing competitive football, as part of his development programme.

Wycombe look set to be relegated, into the third-tier English League One, as they sit bottom of the table, ahead of the final round of matches, in the Championship.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side started to show signs of life, late in the campaign, with five wins from their past 10 matches.

They returned to winning ways last week by beating AFC Bournemouth at Adams Park, with Muskwe playing the full game.

The Chairboys have picked seven points, from their last four games, but they need a miracle to survive the chop, ahead of a final day meeting with Middlesbrough at the Riverside, this afternoon.

Wycombe’s first season, at this level of English football, was always going to provide them with a tough test.

The Chairboys came up via the play-offs, after the third-tier season was curtailed, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They started off by losing their first seven matches. Wycombe spent most of their debut campaign in the relegation zone and their chances of avoiding a return, into the third-tier, are virtually non-existent.

Wycombe will need to beat Middlesbrough by 12 goals, hope Sheffield Wednesday beat Derby by a single-goal margin and Rotherham fail to win in Cardiff. The Herald