MARSHALL Munetsi’s debut in the Premiership, if he joins Brighton & Hove Albion during this English summer, could be against Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 7.
The Warriors midfielder has been linked with a dream move to England after impressing at French Ligue 1 side, Stade Reims, who extended his contract, at the end of last season.
On Wednesday, the Daily Mail of England revealed Munetsi was being targeted by Brighton boss, Graham Potter, as a replacement for Yves Bissouma, who has joined Tottenham.
It’s not the first time Munetsi has been linked with a move to England.
Last year, it was the Championship clubs – Wayne Rooney’s Derby County, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion.
Nothing materialised on that front but, on Wednesday, he was linked with a move straight into the Premiership, the world’s most glamorous top-flight league.
The reports came on the day the powerful midfielder was celebrating his 26th birthday.
Unlike in the past, there is an expectation that this could be his moment, for a breakthrough, into the big money of English football.
The Daily Mail noted that Munetsi’s statistics compare favourably with some of the best midfielders in France.
Apparently, Munetsi’s figures, notably on interceptions and defensive duels won in game, put him ahead of the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, who joined Real Madrid from Monaco, and Boubacar Kamara, who left Marseille for Aston Villa.
Brighton’s analysts, according to the Daily Mail, are understood to have reported favourably along with scouts and Munetsi he is under consideration.
But, for Munetsi, hope might lie far away from the statistics but in the beliefs of a manager, who is in charge of Brighton, who believes in investing in African players.
Potter has been a leading member, among the Premiership managers, when it comes to investing in stars from not only this continent but, specifically, this southern part of Africa.
JULY 2018, PERCY TAU, SOUTH AFRICA
In July 2018, Brighton & Hove Albion announced the signing of South African international forward, Percy Tau, in a deal worth around R50 million.
However, complications meant that the speedy forward could not get the work permit he needed to feature for the club.
He was loaned to a number of clubs in Europe, to help in his development while Brighton were waiting for the right conditions for them to try and get him a work permit.
Last year, the English club decided to sell Tau to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
“I have really enjoyed working with Percy (Tau). He is very professional and extremely popular with the rest of the squad,” said Potter.
“At this stage of his career, he wants to be playing regularly and we fully understand that, this move gives him the opportunity to do that and he is joining one of Africa’s top clubs.
“On behalf of everyone at the club I wish him well for the future.”
JANUARY 31, 2020, TARIQ LAMPTEY, GHANA
On January 31, 2020, Brighton announced the signing of 19-year-old defender Tariq Lamptey from Chelsea on a deal until 2023.
“We’re really pleased to have secured the signing of a really exciting young talent,” said Potter.
“With his pace and technical ability, Tariq provides us with another option on the right side of the pitch both at right-back, where we already have good competition, and also further up the pitch.
“So you can see how important he is to us. And it gives us a little extra dimension in terms of attacking the box from midfield,” Potter said in a post match reaction
“He has to be patient and we’ve had to be patient and he’s a young player.
“There’s a huge potential and delighted for him that he’s able to get the game time and show what he can do because there’s no doubt he’s gonna be a top player,” Potter continued to lavish praise on his midfielder.
JULY 2018, YVES BISSOUMA, MALI
Brighton signed midfield powerhouse Bissouma from French side Lille for about 16.8 million euros and he went on to impress during his spell at the club, leading to Spurs coming in for his signature.
JULY 2021, ENOCK MWEPU, ZAMBIA
Last year, Brighton announced the signing of Zambian midfielder, Enock Mwepu, from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg for 23 million euros.
It meant that the Seagulls were the only English Premiership side with two players, from Southern Africa, who were on their payroll, at the time Mwepu was signed.
However, Tau subsequently left to join Al Ahly.
Potter has since underlined his confidence in African players by signing Ghanaian youngster, Benicio Baker-Boaitey, on a permanent deal.