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Graham Potter keen to replace Yves Bissouma in midfield, tables offer for highly rated Zimbabwean midfielder Mailonline and Soccer24.co.zw Brighton have asked about highly rated Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi.
Graham Potter keen to replace Yves Bissouma in midfield, tables offer for highly rated Zimbabwean midfielder
Mailonline and Soccer24.co.zw
Brighton have asked about highly rated Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi. The Zimbabwe international, who turned 26 on Wednesday, has been impressing in the French league where his statistics have compared favourably with some of the best midfielders in the country.
Munetsi’s figures, notably on interceptions and defensive duels won in game, put him ahead of the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni who joined Real Madrid from Monaco earlier this month and Boubacar Kamara who left Marseille for Aston Villa.
Brighton’s analysts are understood to have reported favourably along with scouts and he is under consideration as they look to fill the void left by Yves Bissouma’s departure to Tottenham.
Munetsi, who scored four goals in 22 games last season after coming back from injury, only signed a new contract last month but Reims could be willing to sell for around £7 million.
Graham Potter is eyeing his second signing of the summer at Brighton after completing a £10m deal for Paraguay wonderkid Julio Enciso, 18, last week.
Enciso, who had scored 11 goals in 14 appearances for Paraguayan club Libertad Asuncion this season, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract at the Amex.
In a flash, Munetsi went from being unwanted at Pirates, to attracting interest from the EPL
The fact that Marshall Munetsi is always smiling might have resulted in many not noticing the struggles he went through at Orlando Pirates.
The Mabvuku-bred midfielder, despite his quality, two different coaches at the Soweto giants didn’t seem to believe in his ability.
Ertugral Muhsin, who had replaced Erik Tinkler in the Pirates dugout, clearly told Munetsi he had no intentions of playing him and loaned the Zimbabwean midfielder to Baroka.
When his loan spell at the Limpopo-based side ended, Munetsi returned to Pirates and Serbian tactician Milutin Sredojevic, better known as Micho, was now in charge.
Micho, just like Muhsin, did not have Munetsi in his plans and the soft-spoken midfielder tried to move to Ajax Cape Town, but the deal fell through at the eleventh hour. He was not even registered, for the first six months of the 2017/18 season.
When he was finally given a chance to play, Munetsi was told he would be doing so in an unfamiliar position —in central defence.
For someone desperate to play, that did not matter to the gifted midfielder who quickly adapted to life in the heart of the Pirates defence.
“It was a huge blow for me personally as a player as I was trying to make some strides after Baroka. And when they finally gave me a chance they said they wanted to use me as a central defender, but for me personally, I just wanted to play and I didn’t really care where I would be playing. After that a lot of people thought I was a centre-back,” said Munetsi.
After making 24 appearances for and helping them reach the Telkom Knockout final as well as a second-place finish in the league, Munetsi moved to French Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims before the 2019 Afcon finals.
Despite the struggles in Soweto, the midfielder still had good words for the club when he left for France.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank the Chairman and management for all the support they have given me ever since I arrived at the club,” he told the club’s media department in 2019.
“I came here as a young boy but now I leave as a man. I would also like to thank the coaches, my teammates and most importantly the fans of this wonderful club for all the love and support they’ve shown me.
“As I turn the page to a new chapter in my football career, I look forward to the new challenge this presents but as I move forward I can never forget my roots … Once a Pirate Always a Pirate!”
Three years after he left Pirates, after three seasons at Reims, where has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Kylian Mpappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, Munetsi is on the radar of Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Graham Potter-coached side has reportedly approached Reims for Munetsi’s signature.
In a flash, the Warriors star has gone from being unwanted at Pirates to attracting interest in the Premier League.
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