…As Zesco lose Mbombo to Al Shabab FC
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
IT is disappointing to see Zesco United losing their best players at a time when the team has just qualified for the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederations Cup, Sports Fans Association of Zambia patron Peter Makembo has said.
On Tuesday, Zesco United announced the departure of Congolese striker Idris Mbombo, who has signed a three-year deal with professional league side Al Shabab FC of Saudi Arabia.
The 21-year-old joined Zesco United from Kabwe Warriors in 2016 on a one-year loan deal which was made permanent after a brilliant performance during the 2016 soccer season.
Mbombo was Zesco United’s second highest top scorer last season with 17 goals in all competitions.
The lethal top man scored 10 league goals, five in the CAF Champions League and one goal in the Charity Shield and the Barclays Cup competitions respectively and was behind Kenyan forward Jesse Were who was top scorer with 19 goals.
And speaking in an interview with Daily Nation Sports in Lusaka, Makembo said the departure of Mbombo from Zesco United barely six months after he signed a permanent three-year deal which could have seen the Congolese stay at Zesco until 2019, is a major setback to the club.
Makembo said there was need for the Ndola giants to streangthen the team instead of letting go of their crucial players.
“With the way things are going at Zesco United, I don’t think it is a time to start letting go of their best players.
“The club has just qualified for the semi-finals of the CAF Confederations Cup and because of that development, I was expecting the club to start reinforcing the team so that Zesco can have a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals,” Makembo said.
Makembo has called on Zesco United management to strengthen the team if it is to progress to the sem-ifinals of the CAF Confederations Cup.
Zesco United will meet premier soccer league side Super Sport United of South Africa in the quarter-finals of this year’s CAF Confederations cup championship.
“Super Sport may be a beatable side but there is need for Zesco United to prepare adequately for the quarter-final fixture against the South Africans. Most players at Zesco are fatigued hence the need for management at the club to reinforce the team,” Makembo said.