Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national football team captain Knowledge Musona, who has been frozen out of competitive football by his struggling Belgian club Anderlecht, has joined rivals KAS Eupen on trial.
The 29-year-old, who had been linked with a move back to South Africa after Absa Premiership giants Mamelodi Sundowns expressed interest, is keen to stay in Europe.
Musona signed a four-year contract with Anderlecht which runs until June 2022. However, the forward has been earmarked for disposal this January window after he was deemed excess baggage.
The Warriors skipper joined KAS Eupen in their training camp currently underway in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday with the hope of impressing the 13th placed club and probably landing a contract.
This is a possible way out for Musona who is desperate to revive his playing career after spending close to a year without kicking a ball for Anderlecht. KAS Eupen confirmed yesterday that the Aces Youth Soccer Academy alumnus is trying his luck with them during their training camp.
“Zimbabwean international Knowledge Musona joins KAS Eupen’s training camp at the Aspire Academy. The 29-year-old offensive midfielder and attacker of RSC Anderlecht arrived in Doha on Wednesday evening and will be tested at KAS Eupen.
“As a national player of Zimbabwe, Knowledge Musona has scored 19 goals in 27 international matches. In the Jupiler Pro League, he played 112 matches for KV Oostende, scoring 41 goals and 18 Assists,” the club posted on their website yesterday.
Musona has not featured in any of the competitive matches in Belgium this season with 21 league games played now.
This would probably rank as the worst phase in his career as he has often complained that Anderlecht shut the door on him without giving him the chance to prove himself.
The Zimbabwean arrived at Anderlecht with a reputation in 2018 following a decent career with local rivals Oostende, where he netted 41 goals and made 18 assists for the side during his three-year stint.
But his move to Anderlecht was characterised by a chronic lack of game-time which left his career at the crossroads, considering his advancing age. He only played 10 games for Anderlecht since he joined them almost two years ago, scoring once and providing two assists.
Musona had to be loaned out to Lokeren to get more game-time last season where he played just six league games and scored only one goal.
Sadly, the club got relegated and as was expected his return to Anderlecht has been nightmarish. He had been linked with a move back to South Africa with Sundowns but his South African agent, Mike Makaab, has always maintained that there was plenty of interest in Belgium.
“I will be travelling to Belgium this month to sit down with Anderlecht to discuss the way forward,” Makaab told the South African media early this week. “Knowledge needs to be playing, and we are going to look for a way to get him out so he can do that.
“There has been plenty of interest in Belgium, but it all depends on what happens with Anderlecht. We want to get him out, but he is a professional and if they say no, then he will see out his contract and he will keep working hard and wait things out.”
Still, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has not hidden his admiration for the Zimbabwean skipper, who won the Absa Premiership Golden Boot in 2011 while playing for rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
“Would you have Knowledge Musona if he is available? Yes, of course, why not if he is available?
“He is the kind of player that I would take because I know he scores goals and he is a fighter, you know he is like Khama Billiat — he is strong, his attitude is right, he is a good player, so if we can get him yes why not I would like to have him,” said Mosimane.
However, there were concerns that the South African club could not be able to buy him out of his contract, which still has two more years. Reports from Brussels also indicated that Musona prefers to remain in Belgium for the sake of his family and to maintain his Anderlecht wage through a loan deal.
KAS Eupen are on tour of Doha from January 6 to 13 for training purposes.
They were set to engage Ajax yesterday at the brand new Al Janoub Stadium (built for the 2022 World Cup) and then PSV tomorrow in practice games where Musona and the likes Jonathan Bolingi, who is also on trial with the Pandas, will get a chance to prove themselves.
The Pandas are hunting for strikers following the departure of Yuta Toyokawa (Cerezo Osaka) and Adalberto Penaranda (back to Watford) and the severe knee injury for Leonardo Rocha.