Harare – The sun continues to shine on the Southern Africa stars in the 2020-21 football season.
Zambian international Patson Daka was selected Player of the Month in Austria’s Bundesliga for the third time this season; DRC midfielder Gaël Kakuta, has been voted the best African footballer in France’s Ligue 1; and another Congolese star, Silas Wamangituka, has been named Germany’s Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for 2020-21.
Twenty-one-year-old Stuttgart midfielder Wamangituka beat teammate Mateo Klimowicz and Borussia Dortmund’s Julia Bellingham to the prestigious youth footballer award.
Wamangituka is in his second season in Germany’s Bundesliga, and has this year made 25 appearances for Stuttgart and scored 11 goals and assisted four times in all competitions.
The Congolese midfielder moved to Stuttgart in August 2019 from French Ligue 2 side Paris FC for a reported fee of US$11 million. With decent performances in Stuttgart colours, Wamangituka has seen his stock rising and he is now valued at more than US$35 million.
Born on October 6, 1999 in Kinshasa, Wamangituka rose rapidly from France’s fifth division to Germany’s topflight in just three years.
Wamangituka was scouted at age 12 by Black Mountain Sport Academy, which was founded by former France and Arsenal forward Nicholas Anelka, and went on to join Congolese side Olympic Matete FC. He spent six years with Olympic Matete before moving to French fifth-tier side Ales in 2017.
Wamangituka was only to spend a year in the books of Ales as he was snatched by French Ligue 2 side Paris FC in August of 2018. He scored 11 goals in 32 appearances, prompting Stuttgart to seek his services in 2019, when the club was still in the second tier of German football.
The Congolese midfielder bagged his first goal for Stuttgart in his seventh appearance, and went on to play a crucial role in its promotion into the Bundesliga at the end of the 2018 season with seven goals and eight assists.
He was to carry his fine form into the Bundesliga scoring on his debut in the topflight.
Wamangituka bagged the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month Award in November 2020, December 2020 and February 2021, before scooping the big prize of Rookie of the Season this past week.
Wamangituka is not the only Southern African footballer enjoying his time in Europe.
Zambia forward Patson Daka had a double celebration last weekend when he was crowned Golden Boot winner in the Austrian Bundesliga with 28 goals, and he also won the league title with RB Salzburg.
South Africa midfielder Bongani Zungu, who plays for Rangers in Scotland, also celebrated winning the premier league title.
In France, Lens midfielder Gaël Kakuta, who hails from the DRC, was voted the best African footballer in the French top division by a jury of sports journalists at Radio France Internationale (RFI) and France 24.
The 29-year-old came in ahead of Andy Delort of Montpellier and Algeria, and Tino Kadewere, who plays for Lyon and Zimbabwe.
Kakuta is the first player from Lens and the DRC to claim the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé since its inception in 2011 after scoring 11 goals and five assists in 34 games.
The Prix Marc-Vivien Foé was established in memory of the Cameroonian midfielder, who died suddenly on June 26, 2003 in Lyon after collapsing on the pitch while representing his country in a FIFA Confederations Cup match.
Kakuta represented France’s national junior teams before opting to play for the DRC in 2017.