Chitipa United talented forward, Abel Mwakilama, could be on his way to Europe next month as he is on the verge of signing a three-year contract with Portuguese Second Division side, Sporting Clube de Esmoriz.
Mwakilama’s Manager, Venâncio Patreque, Thursday confirmed the deal that would see the former Malawi under-20 national football team player join Esmoriz Academy and get promoted to the senior team if he impresses.
“He is going to Portugal and not Mozambique [at Costa do Sol FC as earlier suggested]. Abel is a great player. I believe he would advance his football career in Portugal,” Patreque said while keeping a tight lid on the transfer fee involved.
He claimed that the deal had been completed in principle
Mwakilama, who can also play in both wings, confirmed that the Portuguese team was closing in on his signature.
“Last week, I was in Zimbabwe to process my visa. The process is at an advanced stage and, very soon, I would be leaving for that club [in Portugal].
“I have an agent who shows them [Portuguese club] my video clips, including those from 2016’s Cosafa Under-20 Championship. So, t h e [Portuguese] club was convinced with my abilities and they want me to join them,” he said.
Chitipa General Secretary, Marshal Mwenechanya, confirmed that discussions with Esmoriz were at an advanced stage on Mwakilama’s transfer.
“We are so happy that our team has produced a quality player who is attracting [the interest of] foreign clubs. We are finalising some issues but, very soon the deal could be completed,” Mwenechanya said.
Mwakilama is set to join in Portugal former Mafco striker, Richard Mbulu, who, last week, signed for lower division club, Associacao Desportiva Saojoanense, from Costa do Sol. Mbulu is yet to travel to Portugal.
Former Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers striker, Andrew Chikhosi, believes Mwakilama has the potential to develop into a top player.
“It would be a good move for him to grow as a player. In Portugal, everything is advanced as compared to Malawi. He could be an asset for the Flames in the near future,” Chikhosi said.
Mwakilama, alongside Peter Banda, Patrick Phiri and Mike Mkwate, are seen as future stars for the Flames.
Before the season, Mwakilama was on the verge of joining Bullets and Moyale Barracks but the deal did not go through.
Mwakilama made headlines when he inspired Chitipa to the TNM Super League, having netted 38 goals in 35 games in the Northern Region Simama Premier Division in 2016.
He, however, scored a few goals in the top-flight league this season. Malawi does not have any player at a European club due to the limited exposure at club and junior national team levels.
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