BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
FREE-SCORING former Warriors striker Nyasha Mushekwi could be heading for a career swansong with his former Swedish club Djurgårdens, who confirmed on Wednesday they have been in contact with the China-based veteran forward.
Mushekwi is not showing any signs of slowing down as he continues to further cement his status as one of the most prolific forwards in Chinese football.
Last week the 35year-old former Zimbabwe international bagged his fourth brace for the China League One side Zhejiang Greentown to take his tally to 21 goals in 25 appearances this season.
Mushekwi has scored at least a goal in every game in the team’s last five outings for Zhejiang, who are fighting for promotion into the China Super League.
The rich vein of form has caught the attention of his former paymasters, who have expressed their desire to re-sign him when his contract expires at the end of the current campaign.
The former CAPS United striker left an indelible mark at the Swedish Allsvenskan side after scoring 12 goals and providing four assists in 21 appearances during his loan stint from South African Premiership side Mamelodi Sundowns in 2015.
Djurgårdens were desperate to make his move permanent but Mushekwi opted for a move to China.
The Swedish club’s sports director Bosse Andersson confirmed in an interview in the Swedish media this week that they have been in contact with Mushekwi in the hope of convincing him to return to Sweden almost six years after he left the club.
“It is impossible to say anything about the future regardless of whether we have good contact with him but I have had continuous contact with Nyasha since he left us in 2015. Since then he has been home a number of times and visited us in Stockholm,” Andersson said.
The Swedish newspaper Expressen added that a move back to Sweden for Mushekwi was imminent due to his Swedish wife Arsema Ghebrehiwot and a desire by the couple to live in Stockholm.
“He has a penchant for Djurgårdens and is grateful for what we have meant to him. Then he has the opportunity to live in a few other places as well, but Stockholm can definitely be a place where he has a base,” Andersson added.
Mushekwi is now into his sixth year in the Far East having first joined Dalian Yifang in 2016 before helping them to Chinese Super League status.
He was the top goal scorer for Dalian Yifang in three consecutive seasons in which he scored 54 goals in 90 appearances before joining Zhejiang Greentown in 2019.
“He has probably done six seasons in China, few have done. Nyasha has delivered every year in every division and now he plays in a team that is fighting to go up in the top league and leads that shooting league of around 20 goals. It is clear that it is impressive,” Andersson said of Mushekwi’s record in China.
He vowed that Djurgårdens will pull all the stops to resign Mushekwi even if his current club secures promotion to the China Super League or decides to offer him a new contract.
“You have to respect that he has an expiring contract and his focus now is to perform with the team and then see what the future will be like. Should they take the step up to the highest division, it is clear that then we can have as good contact as possible. If they want to keep Nyasha, we are adamant about it.”
Mushekwi, who has also played in South Africa and Belgium, is reported to be one of the best-paid players in China’s second-tier league.
The towering former basketball player bought a state-of-the-art 45-seater luxury coach believed to be worth over US$120 000 for his former team CAPS United in November 2019 as a token of appreciation for his financially rewarding football career.
Mushekwi retired from international football after the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt two years ago.
After his recent scoring form, there have been calls for him to be recalled to the Warriors squad ahead of next year’s continental tournament to be hosted by Cameroon.