Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
TINO Kadewere’s former coach at French Ligue 2 football side Le Havre, Dean Oswald Tanchot, says the Zimbabwean forward lacked strength when he first arrived in France, but is impressed by the progress he has made in the last two years.
Kadewere has since risen to become a regular starter in the French top-flight league where he is enjoying an explosive start with last season’s Champions League semi-finalists, Olympique Lyon.
The 24-year-old has established himself in the Lyon line-up, where he has virtually wrestled the starting place from Moussa Dembele.
He has niched himself in the three-man frontline attack that includes Memphis Depay and Cameroonian Karl Toko Ekambi. The trio have been in great form this season, sharing among themselves 17 league goals.
Kadewere’s former coach at Le Havre, Tanchot, told Europsport at the weekend that he was not surprised by the Zimbabwean’s quick adaptation to top level competition. The forward joined Lyon from the French Ligue 2 side Le Havre this season.
Tanchot, who is now in charge of another Ligue 2 outfit, Amiens, fell in love with the lanky forward’s talent on first sight but was skeptical about his strength.
But a few months down the line, he believes Kadewere has justified the 12 million euros gamble made by Olympique Lyonnais because of his hard work.
“He’s a very co-ordinated boy who had a great first touch of the ball. I thought he was very complete. He was able to create chances and was able to finish the last pass.
“It was not formatted and had above all a feline side. He was always smiling, open and in a good mood. He immediately integrated himself by learning French and bringing his wife and son to him.
“He’s a fine boy who lacked power when he arrived. On the game itself, it is complete without having a huge strength. He is skilful on both feet,” said Tanchot.
Kadewere mesmerised at Le Havre last season where he scooped the Ligue 2 Golden Boot with 20 goals from 24 outings.