With interest in Zambia’s sensational forward Patson Daka swelling in the English Premiership, all eyes will be on the Austria-based star when Chipolopolo attempt to turn the tables in the Afcon qualifiers.
The 2012 Afcon champions need to beat both Zimbabwe [away] and Algeria [home] to book a place in next year’s Afcon finals set to be held in Cameroon.
This time around Daka is available after missing their back-to-back qualifiers against Botswana last year in November due to injury.
The Red Bull Salzburg forward is well aware that Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal are all reportedly in the hunt to sign him.
The former youth international has enjoyed a sensational season in front of goal for the Austrian side, having scored 27 goals in 31 games across all competitions, including an incredible 20 strikes in 18 matches in the country’s Bundesliga to make him comfortably the league’s top scorer.
Interestingly, Daka also bagged two goals in a pre-season friendly against Liverpool last August as well as a double in a 5-2 aggregate win over Maccabi Tel Aviv last September to help the team qualify for the Champions League, with Salzburger Nachrichten reporting that the four English heavyweights are all showing an interest in the forward, valued at €20million (£17m) with that figure likely to soar.
It would be a plus in the eyes of potential suitors if he can carry that sublime club form to the national team.
In an interview with BBC Sport in January, Daka spoke about his ambition to follow in the footsteps of the great African goalscorers who have made headlines in the Premier League over the last few seasons.
“To see our big brothers like (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, (Mo) Salah and (Sadio) Mane, it’s something that gives me the dream that I can also make it. I can be like them. They are my inspiration, knowing that they also come from Africa.
“I think when people are making those kinds of comparisons, it’s great, looking at the status of Sadio Mane, the kind of football he plays and the kind of person that he is.”
But for now, Daka knows he will be better off if his beloved nation can book a ticket for Cameroon against the odds.
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By FARPost Reporter