ZIMBABWE international forward Matthew Rusike has officially left Swedish club Helsingborgs IF following their relegation from the Swedish top flight last month.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 26-year-old frontman had signed a three-year deal with the five-time Swedish champions in June this year after his previous club Halmstads BK was also relegated from the Swedish Allsvenskan in 2014.
However, with his contract dependent on the club staying in the Swedish Allsvenskan, the Scandinavian club had no option but to let the speedy Zimbabwean player leave by mutual consent after their demotion.
“We at HIF [Helsingborgs IF] want to thank you for this time and wish the best of luck in the future. He saw that this was not the next step in his career, and it was amazingly good that we found out about it as early as possible. Then it was a wise decision to do this as quickly as possible. He must take the next step in full force, and we must take the next step in full force and full engagement,” the club’s director Mats-Ola Schulze said in a statement last week.
The former Monomotapa, University of Pretoria, Jomo Cosmos and Kaizer Chiefs star started in 10 of the 25 matches he played for the Swedish club during his stint, scoring three goals.
His departure from Helsingborgs IF makes him the second high-profile figure at the club to leave after their acrimonious relegation following the departure of the club’s legendary manager, the former Sweden international Henrik Larsson, who had been in charge of the club since January 2015.
Although recent reports linked Rusike with a return to the South African Absa Premiership after he trained with SuperSport United last month, the former St Georges College student has been keeping his cards close to his chest.
“I just trained there for one session, I have a good relationship with Stuart [Baxter] and he said I could come to keep fit before the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] now that the Swedish season is over. Like Nyasha Mushekwi is doing with Wits… I might come back in December before the tournament starts after a short trip home to see my family,” Rusike said.
The speedy forward is expected to make the Zimbabwe squad for next month’s Afcon finals in Gabon.