BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
FRANCE-BASED Warriors forward Tino Kadewere (pictured right) has revealed the reason why he snubbed offers from English Premier League clubs as well as other suitors and settled for French Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon in the January transfer window.
Kadewere admitted getting offers from English sides Watford and Huddersfield in January following his goal-scoring exploits for Ligue 2 side Le Havre, where he scooped the Golden Boot after scoring an incredible 20 goals in 24 appearances.
The 24-year-old Zimbabwean footballer also attracted the interest of Scottish giants Celtic, Turkish giants Galatasaray and German side Werder Bremen.
But the former Harare City player settled for a 14 million euro move to Lyon.
“I got messages from some people saying you got offers from England, why didn’t you go? Of course, I want to go to England, but I cannot sign for Watford,” Kadewere said in an interview with South African sportscaster Carol Tshabalala.
“It’s a good club, but I had to look at where they are at the moment. You can see they are not doing very well and might end up going to the Championship. So I wouldn’t want to go to a club on the verge of relegation. But I want to go to England and I know I will go to England one day,” Kadewere added.
Despite his admiration of Premier League giants Arsenal’s style of play, Kadewere revealed that it was his late father Onias’ wish that he should play for Manchester United.
“He told me ‘Tino, you are going to play for a big club in Europe,’ and his biggest dream was for me to play for Manchester United. I support Man United because of him, but when I was young I used to like the way Arsenal play,” he said.
Kadewere kicked off life at the seven-time French champions with a bang after he scored four first half goals in a friendly match against Swiss lower-tier club Port Valais at the beginning of the month.
But why did he choose Lyon over the rest of his suitors?
“I had a few offers from England like Watford and Huddersfield, I had an offer from Celtic, I had an offer from Galatasaray and I also had an offer from German side Werder Bremen.
“All these clubs are great clubs, but the reason why I chose Lyon is the reason why I chose Le Havre. I look at the players that played at a club and I look at where they are playing now.
“If you look at Ferland Mendy at Real Madrid, he played for Le Havre and went to Lyon and now he is at Real Madrid. Alexandre Lacazette played at Lyon and is now at Arsenal and Karim Benzema played at Lyon and is now at Real Madrid. That is what I look at normally when I sign for a club. And also Lyon is a big club that plays in the Champions League against top clubs,” Kadewere said.
The Zimbabwean striker says he has always followed Lyon because of Real Madrid veteran striker Benzema and when the offer to join the club came he told his agent to get it done.
“I used to love Lyon before and I followed them because of Benzema. I really like Benzema’s play and how he is. The moment my agent said we have a Lyon offer on the table, I said to him bro we got to work this out as soon as possible. It was a dream come true,” he said.