Move over Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola . . .Chamu Musanhu new super agent

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE . . . Former Dynamos defence stalwart Chamu Musanhu (right), who is now a fast-rising players intermediary based in Liverpool, England, enjoys the company of UK-based Zimbabwean sports journalist Albert Marufu

TWO years after registering as a FIFA football intermediary, Chamu Musanhu has made giant strides and could soon join the elite club of agents around the globe.

The former roving defender, a key member of the Dynamos side which went all the way to the ‘98 CAF Champions League final, before losing, albeit in controversial circumstances, is fast becoming a reputed player representative in Europe.

Although he is still compiling strong connections across the globe, the UK-based Musanhu is already well placed to aid not only Zimbabwean players but other African stars.

He has since facilitated Warriors defender Alec Mudimu’s move to Moldovian champions FC Sheriff from Welsh club CFN Druids.

Mudimu is scheduled to join the 18-time Moldovian league kings on January 20.

Prior to that, Musanhu helped teenage sensation Joshua Jeche secure a contract with Croatian lower division side NK Tomislav Drnje in September last year.

The 19-year-old utility player had been released by English League Two (fourth tier) side Cambridge United, a club he joined when he was only six.

So dejected was Jeche he even contemplated taking a break from the game but Musanhu used his increasingly strong links to rescue the teenage sensation.

Having seen Jeche play a number of times, at Cambridge and for the Zimbabwe Under-20 UK Diaspora team, Musanhu feels the young player has a lot to offer.

“Youngsters like Jeche are the future of Zimbabwean football and there are many of them in the Diaspora,” said Musanhu.

“ZIFA should start with these youngsters at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level.

“The problem we have is that no one is following their progress. At his age, Jeche should be playing for the Under-20 or Under-23 national team.

“I made contact with my friends in Croatia who recommended that he start at NK Tomislav Drnje. “

We will see what happens from there but obviously, like what the player dreams, he will have to find his way into the English Premiership.

“But for players to make it they have to go through these lower leagues (in Europe) where their play can improve before making the big moves. Of course, we did this with the consent of Jushua’s father.”

Musanhu added: “One thing I like most about him is his high work rate and discipline. He is a very good player and is similar to Kallisto Pasuwa due to his ability to play in different positions. In terms of talent, he is just like Marvelous Nakamba or Desmond Maringwa.

“He is a very good tackler, team player and well disciplined. With good coaching and hard work, he can even play in the English Premiership.

“He joined Cambridge United when he was a six-year-old and for the club to keep him there for more than a decade, it means he is good. The Croatian leagues will offer him the right platform to grow.”

Jeche, who is currently back in England on a break, told The Herald that he is happy with the progress he has made so far.

“The club is very supportive. I like the way Croatians play football. They like to keep it on the ground and that suits me. The quality of football is better there.”

“Another plus is that most guys in the team speak English,” he said.

The 19-year-old utility players added: “I will be going back to Croatia in January and I hope to impress at the club and rise to the First Division. My goal is to play in the English Premiership or Championship.”

At the moment, Musanhu, who has gained respect in the player transfer circles, especially in Europe, is understood to be under pressure from top clubs, some of whom have lost much trust in the so-called established agents, to bring in more talented players from Africa.

“I should admit this job needs someone who is unquestionably honest, transparent and professional. There are so many challenges one can inevitably meet,” said Musanhu.

“One needs to have contacts, which can be a very steep challenge. I am still in the process of compiling a useful database but I can safely say I am almost there.

“One needs to know the player not just in the field of play but off the field as well so that as many problems as possible are minimized when the deal materialises.”

He said he was committed to help Zimbabwean players as well as those from the continent going forward.

“I believe there are so many players who end up trying their hand in anything because of lack of proper guidance.

“There are so many who could have made waves in Europe but because there was a general lack of agents who believed in them, they never got the chance to prove themselves.

“This is one area we would like to address.

“I urge players to put every effort to improve themselves so that when they get a chance to move to Europe or any other part of the world, they won’t find it difficult to break into the system.”

Musanhu is already interested in acting on behalf of Malawian and Ghanaian players whom he has identified.

Musanhu will particularly take keen interest in youngsters groomed at the newly-formed Jadel Football Academy run by his China-based brother Walter.

The Zimbabwean branch of the academy was established in December last year with the staging of a four-team youth tournament at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare.

The tournament saw BN Academy, CUMA and Inter-Harare joining the hosts in a contest won by the Kadoma-based CUMA.

Jadel Soccer Academy has another sprouting branch formed in China mid-last year where Musanhu will also be looking at for players.

He said his dream is to be at par with the big football go-betweens like Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes.

Italy-born Dutch football agent Raiola handles Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently re-joined AC Milan after a stint in the United States.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli, Marco Verratti and Jesse Lingard are all under Raiola’s wing.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is among a host of international stars whose affairs are handled by fellow Portuguese Mendes.

It is this class of agents which he eventually wants to join. 

Chamu Musanhu works together with Swiss-based players representative, Dalibor Stevanovic, of DGS Sport Agency and Argon Sports Agency, and Croatian Goran Sabolec in what he calls the “Dream Team” of player intermediaries. – Herald