Warriors Trio Firmly In Top 10 Of SADC’s Most Valuable Players

ZIMBABWE’S international footballers Marvelous Nakamba and Tino Kadewere have endured tough times over the past seven months and it’s not surprising their market values have dropped.

But the Warriors pair is still amongst the most valued 10 players in the Southern African region in what should be a feel-good story for the country, according to the authoritative website, Transfermarkt.

Their national team colleague, Marshall Munetsi, has picked gains and is now valued at par with the duo and he also makes the Top-10 most valuable players from this bloc.  Nakamba was once the only player from the COSAFA region playing in the English Premier League and was the epitome and example of excellence from the region’s perspective after he joined Aston Villa in 2019.

He was almost always in the Clarets and Blue Starting 11 under manager Dean Smith in his initial stay at Villa Park.  But, once he started sitting on the bench, he would never fully bounce back into the fold under different managers including Smith himself, Steven Gerrard and Unai Emery, thanks partly to injuries the Zimbabwean was so unfortunate to suffer occasionally.

The Bantu Rover graduate inevitably became “excess baggage” under Emery who told him to find an alternative home last year.  Nakamba has now dropped to the second tier of the English football system, loaned to English Championship side Luton Town.

On the other hand, Kadewere had high expectations on joining French Ligue 1 giants Lyon two seasons ago and the striker was one of the best performing Africans in the entire league on his debut term.

But, somehow, he couldn’t maintain the same form in his second season and he has now been loaned out to Mallorca in the Spanish La Liga.  The Highfield-born forward was unfortunate though after he suffered a nasty injury before he could make his debut in one of the best leagues in the world.

He has, however, bounced back and on Saturday scored his first Spanish La Liga goal in Mallorca’s 2-1 victory over Villareal.  And the two players’ market value dropped over the months by at least 30 percent to €5 million for both.

At his prime, Kadewere was valued at around double that amount while Nakamba was about €8 million four years ago.  Midfielder Munetsi, who is one of the best performing Southern African players in Europe’s top five leagues, has significantly picked up some points and his value is now equal to his compatriots, Nakamba and Kadewere.

The good news is the trio is firmly in the top 10 of Southern Africa’s most valuable players.

With their values at par, the Warriors men are seventh-most valuable players in the entire Southern Africa.  Zambian talisman Patson Daka, who plays for Leicester City in the English Premier League, tops the list with a value of €30 million.

Mozambique’s Atletico Madrid left-back Reinildo Mandava with a value of €25 million comes in second with another Zambian Fashion Sakala, who plays for Rangers in Scotland, coming in on third with a market value of €7,5 million followed by Angola’s Club Brugge star Clinton Mata (€7 million).  Lameck Banda of Zambia, who plays for Lecce in the Italian Serie A, completes the top five with a value of €6,5million.

In a league dominated by Zambians, Klings Kangwa (Crvena Zvezda-Serbia) with a value of €6 million comes in sixth, followed by the Zimbabwean trio, with Emmanuel Banda also of Zambia completing the top 10.

The latter is valued at €4,5 million and plies his trade with Croatian side HNL Rijeka.  Sports Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe president Russel Mhiribidi said the three Warriors players just need to put in more work and they could be leading in terms of value amongst the Southern African lot.

“This shows that as Zimbabwe, we have a lot in terms of potential and we can be the leaders in any sport because if you look closely at it, we have at least one athlete in all sport codes who is amongst the best in the region,”said Mhiribidi.

“We just need to keep on pushing, apply the right sports development fundamentals and we will always be amongst the best.

“Sometimes winning doesn’t necessarily mean taking home a certain trophy, it is things like this which define you as a people and as a nation. Let’s keep on pursuing excellence in all sporting activities.”

Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association cheerleader Chris “Romario” Musekiwa echoed the same sentiments.

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