LONDON – British-born teenage sensation Tinashe Chakwana moved a step closer towards breaking into the first team of English Premier League side Burnley after signing his first professional contract with the Clarets Tuesday.
The 19-year-old forward, who was born in England of Zimbabwean parents, was rewarded for his impressive season in which he finished as top scorer for the Burnley Under-23s side, having also top scored for the club’s Under-18 side during the 2016-2017 season.
Chakwana was one of the two players who were offered professional contracts together with midfielder Mark Howarth as he continues to make tremendous strides at Turf Moor.
“Forward Tinashe Chakwana and midfielder Mark Howarth have both confirmed their place in the under-23s’ squad for next season after signing professional deals at Turf Moor,” Burnley confirmed on their official website on Tuesday.
“The pair – both 19 – have penned 12-month contracts with the option of a further year. Chakwana, 19, finished as top scorer for the Duff’s side last season, while Howarth will return to action next season after missing much of the campaign just ended with a back injury,” the Premier League club said.
Chakwana, who was born in Wigan, England, has been at Burnley since 2015 on a scholarship deal and was last year tipped him to break into the first team.
“Tinashe’s quality is improving tremendously. He is scoring goals for the team and that’s important for a forward player,” Jolly said recently.
“Our aim is to get more players into the first team and we have more players training as part of the first team group from the Under-21 side and Tinashe is one of those players who have the potential to break into the first team soon,” said Michael Jolly, the former Burnley Under-23 coach and now manager of English League Two club Grimsby Town.
Chakwana is tipped to follow in the footsteps of former Burnley teammate Tendayi Darikwa by pursuing an international career with Zimbabwe.