By Walliey Mukena
The Zambia central attacking midfield has always been a caledoiscope of mixed talent. Talent which achieved and that which flopped. From the inimitable Ian Bakala to Isaac Chansa, Rainford Kalaba, Cletous Chama and the current mecurial Enock MWEPU. What is it that is different which Charley Musonda is coming to offer?
The alternating combination of Ian Bakala and Isaac Chansa did not achieve much. Not because they were bad creative midfielders but because they lacked something only Rainford Kalaba brought on the table.
Rainford Kalaba by far still stands out as the most influential number eight this country has seen in recent times and as he wastes away into the recycle bin, it’s time somebody of similar intensity stepped in. Kalaba stepped on the scene in 2007 when the Zambian midfield was under the command of Isaac Chansa and Andrew Sinkala. The 2008 Afcon under this midfield partnership was a disaster as Zambia crushed out from the group stage. When Kalaba took hold of the creative role at the 2010 Afcon in Angola, He demonstrated what Isaac Chansa lacked and Zambia reached the quarter finals loosing to Cameroon.
At his pick in the 2012 Afcon, Kalaba playing as a number 8 in all the matches Zambia played, he was one of the best players at the AFCON as Zambia won it for the first time. Soon after the Afcon in 2012, Kalaba has never again played as a central number 8, he started drifting to the far left creating nothing but lots of off sides. Zambia has never again had a number 8 like him and we have struggled since 2012.
Reports from reliable sources now indicate that Charles Musonda junior has made up his mind and he is ready to come play for his father’s land. What difference will the little midfield genius bring?
Charles Musonda Junior is a boy dripping with overriding juvenecence and his speed is electric. While he posseses the rare quality of protecting the ball on his feet, he runs like one with wheels under his feet. His top class speed while playing under less pressure can be a constant menace to any defence in the world. He demonstrated it at full stretch when he captained the Chelsea under 19 that won the UEFA youth cup. That speed at the centre of the chipolopolo offence can be everything Augustine Mulenga and Justine Shonga have been lacking. It’s what Pule and Lorch gives them at Pirates and such is an atmosphere they love basking in.
I don’t want to be tempted to compare this boy with anyone in Sven’s team but Charley is gifted with some feet fully boiled in some Brazilian pot of football magic. He is not a boy who dribbles and looks back. Not a kind who will leave his mackers chewing grass and looses the ball childishly because he is over whelmed by the Cheers from the crowd. Charley is a master dribbler who dribbles with purpose. He beats his markers pants down legs up and keep moving forward. He has wheels at his feet and causes problems for any defender on his way.
He moves the ball with such deft intelligencia trickery and mental balance. His money moves gives some audacious slices of football magic while he rarely loses the ball. His genre of direct football and determination to have the ball behind the net saw Celta Vigo move out of the relegation zone and survive the cut when he went to Spain on loan. That’s exactly what we lacked on the road to Cameroon: purpose.
He is definitely a more aggressive and zealous boy than any other Zambian midfielder we have seen in recent times. He is fearless and strong on the ball. His imposing presence going foward has the ability to change the match and the likes of MWEPU will definitely have so many lectures to leearn from him interms of decission making and precission. Charley will just need to protect his legs as African football is more physical. Diabolical and malicious tackles here fly like night hawks but he is not a stranger to danger. He is 21 years now, played in Belgium, England, Spain meaning he has tested it all.
This is a boy we desperately need. I know some one will say he can’t play alone but the fact is we need him. If there is still something not yet done for him to finally fly in, let FAZ act fast and break that note. It’s their job.