|Thirst for Knowledge: But Musona will be staying in Germany|
In this week of matriculation results, perhaps we should call this phenomenon a “Thirst for Knowledge” as the AmaKhosi, Buccaneers and Msandawana fans claim an imminent signing.
Currently plying his trade in Germany – where he is on loan with FC Ausburg after signing for 1899 Hoffenheim in 2011 – the social networks are abuzz with rumours of a return to the PSL today.
Sadly, I can report that there was no real Knowledge behind those whispers. I spoke to his agent Mike Makaab this morning and he assured me: “There’s no truth in those rumours at all. He’s a 22-year-old making his way in Europe. He will stay and fight for his future in Germany. There have been absolutely no talks about coming back to South Africa.
“Knowledge is fine in Germany, I don’t know where these reports came from.”
I think I can explain that. The uncertainty arose with the arrival of former Germany defender Stefan Reuter as the new boss at Ausberg last month.
The former Bayern, Juventus and Dortmund right back, who played 69 games for his nation, took over from Jürgen Rollmann at the struggling Bundesliga club during the current mid-winter break.
With Ausberg on a meagre nine points after 17 games, they are level with rock-bottom SpVgg Greuther Furthe, the newly-promoted club that nearly signed Mamelodi Sundowns’ Zimbabwean striker Nyasha Mushekwi at the start of the season.
Reuter, a pacy defender known as Turbo during his playing days, arrived promising a clear-out and Musona looked an obvious target.
According to http://www.bundesliga.com/en/liga/clubs/fc-augsburg-1907/kader.php Musona, after a debut goal in the 2-0 German Cup win over SV Wilhelmshaven, has gone 737 minutes without a Bundesliga goal.
With Reuter signing South Korea striker Ji Dong-Won on loan from Sunderland, Ausburg now have SIX strikers – with Musona curiously listed as a midfielder.
Makaab accepts Musona needs to show Reuter what he can do when the Bundesliga resumes on January 19. Fortunately for Knowledge, his national side narrowly failed to qualify for AFCON 2013 in South Africa – they lost in the play-offs to Angola, going out on away goals – and the latest news from Zimbabwe is that they may withdraw from 2014 World Cup qualifiers through a lack of cash.
With the nation still recovering from the AsiaGate match-fixing scandal, ZIFA vice-president Ndumiso Gumede is quoted today saying: "There is no money to pay for travel expenses and other incidentals. We have decided not to engage in any international matches unless the government chips in with financial assistance."
The association is currently R40m in debt with president Cuthbert Dube and a company called Mbada Diamonds keeping them afloat with cash hand-outs after an opening qualifying defeat on the road to Brazil against Guinea was followed by a draw with Mozambique. Zimbabwe are due to play Egypt in late March.
Musona’s Amakhosi days have become the stuff of legend. He joined the Chiefs from Aces in Zimbabwe having not played a Premier League game in the land of his birth.
As a teenager, he was a super-sub in 2009–10 season and won PSL Club Rookie of the Year award. The next season, he scored 15 goals in 28 league games to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot.
Amid a general thirst for Knowledge, agent Makaab chose a five-year deal at 1899 Hoffenheim over Serbian giants FK Partizan and Scottish champions Celtic as the preferred European destination.
Hoffenheim paid R13m to Chiefs and Ausburg have, in turn, paid Hoffenheim R1m to take him on loan this season. Common sense tells us Knowledge will have to repay that fee with some goals in the second half of the season. Or he really could be back in the PSL next season.