UNHERALDED Zimbabwean teenage prodigy Matifadza Zata has agreed a deal to join Scottish football side Dundee until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The 17-year-old, who recently left Scottish giants Rangers, has dual nationality having represented Scotland at under-16 level, but is still eligible to represent Zimbabwe.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Zata, who is widely considered one of Scottish football’s exciting youth prospects, will be hoping to continue his progress at Dundee’s development squad and hopefully graduate into the Scottish Premiership side’s first team.
He tweeted that he was “delighted to sign” at Dundee’s United’s Tannadice Park and “very excited to see what the future holds”.
After starting his career with Alloa Athletic’s pro-youth side, Zata spent over four years with Rangers’ youth academy, playing alongside the likes of Rangers Under-20 defender Jordan Houston and Scottish starlet Billy Gilmour, who joined Chelsea last year.
Zata joined Scottish lower-tier side East Kilbride in September last year after signing for the club on a development loan until January and immediately impressed the club’s boss Billy Stark.
“Mati is here to give us energy and legs,” said Stark.
“He’s a strong boy, a powerful runner who scored a lot of goals for Rangers’ under-17s last season.
“He’s a box-to-box midfielder and will bring a lot to the squad.”
Upon his departure from Rangers “Mati” described it as “a very sad day”.
“A very sad day leaving the club that I’ve loved and supported all my life, but nothing’s meant to last forever. Would like to thank all the players, coaches and parents that have helped me along the way and made it such a memorable experience, wishing all the boys the best of luck,” he wrote on Twitter.
Zata’s position — central or attacking midfield — was one in which Rangers strengthened heavily during the January transfer window, bringing Sean Goss, Greg Docherty and Jamie Murphy, who can also play out wide.
He will be hoping to make the most of the new opportunity offered by Dundee United as he looks to progress to the senior ranks.