Angola coach Gustavo Ferrin says he is delighted with the form that star striker Manucho has been displaying in the Spanish league of late and hopes he continues the form at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, where they meet Bafana Bafana in Group A.
The Palancas Negras striker has netted six goals for Real Valladolid in the Spanish league this season in what is an encouraging sign for his country.
Three have come in his last three games, including a pair against Real Madrid last weekend.
“Manucho has the potential to be a positive influence in the squad. I’m in constant contact with him and delighted with what he has achieved,” Ferrin told a pre-conference ahead of the warm-up game against the Gambia in Benguela on Saturday.
Manucho will play at his fourth successive finals, after making a major impact on debut in 2008.
It was at the tournament in Ghana that he was spotted by giants Manchester United scouts, who signed him immediately. He went first to Panathinaikos on loan to gain experience before playing one game the Red Devils, but proved a flop in England.
Manucho, who has also played at Hull City, Manisaspor and Bucaspor in Turkey, was also Angola’s top scorer in the 2012 finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon where the southern African side reached the quarter-finals.
Angola have been drawn in Group A at the Nations Cup alongside the South African hosts, the Cape Verde Islands and Morocco.