BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WARRIORS’ midfielder Marshall Munetsi has been rewarded by his French Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims with a two year contract extension, which will keep him at the club until 2026 following an impressive season.
Munetsi joined Reims from South African giants Orlando Pirates in a reported €550 000 deal back in 2019 and his initial contract was set to expire in June 2023, but earned an improved one year extension barely a year later.
The 25-year-old versatile midfielder has been one of the top performers for Reims whenever he was fit and made 23 appearances for the club in the league, managing five goals and two assists.
In fact Munetsi’s goals haul made him the second top scorer for the club in the league and is four behind French teenage striker Hugo Ekitike, who has nine at this stage of the season.
“Proud to continue to be part of this great club that is the Stade de Reims, thank you all for your support. We are Stade de Reims,” Munetsi celebrated the new deal on social media.
The Zimbabwean missed 14 league matches due to injury, which also saw him miss the country’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations final in Cameroon at the beginning of the year.
Reims have not had the best of seasons as they sit in 12th place going into the final round of matches today and decided to tie down their prized possession ahead of the summer transfer window.
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Announcing the player’s contract extension on the website the club was full of praise for the Zimbabwean midfielder.
“Capable of occupying all midfield positions, but also the position of central defender, Marshall Munetsi has an atypical profile: a versatile and enduring player on whom Oscar Garcia (the coach) has been able to count on 23 times this season,” the club said.
“During the 2021/22 financial year, after nine matches, he was the one who had swallowed up the most kilometres in Uber Eats Ligue 1. The Zimbabwe international had covered 103.9km, an average of 11.5km per game. His highest of the season is 13.72 km achieved during the match between Stade Rennais and Stade de Reims (Reims losing 2 – 0).
“Tireless midfielder, impregnable central defender, Marshall Munetsi also knows how to turn into a formidable scorer! This season, the former Orlando Pirates player has found the net five times, including an impressive double during the big victory of his team against the Bordeaux Girondins last February (5-0).
“His combination with other young midfielders Azor Matusiwa (from Holland) or Jens Cadjust (from Sweden) suggests a bright future for the Reims midfield,” Reims said.
Munetsi has been touted as the next possible Warriors captain following the retirement of Knowledge Musona from international football last week.
The lanky midfielder has represented Zimbabwe 23 times and last featured in the Warriors’ colours in the 3 – 1 defeat away to Ghana in a World Cup qualifier last October.