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Helman Mkhalele wished Marshall Munetsi remained at Orlando Pirates

2:41 PM GMT 12/06/2019
Helman Mkhalele - Orlando Pirates
The former South Africa international has reflected on Munetsi's transfer to Ligue 1 ahead of the 2019/20 season

Orlando Pirates legend Helman Makhalele has stated that he is happy for versatile player Marshall Munetsi, who has joined French side Stade de Reims.

The Zimbabwe international has joined the Ligue 1 side on a four-year deal and Mkhalele says he would have liked to see the 22-year-old staying at Pirates.

“It’s a good move for him because everyone aspires to play in Europe. I think even though I was hoping he would stay a bit longer at Pirates – it’s a good one for him,” Mkhalele told Goal.

“He is still young and has good qualities as a footballer and I am happy with the fact that the club allowed him to go. They did not stand in his way and they allowed him to realise his dreams overseas,” he said.

“It is commendable when he sees an opportunity to grow and develop his football career - I am happy for him,” said the former midfielder.

“Joining a club in France is a huge boost for him there is no doubt about that, again it’s a typical example for young players that if you work hard you will get rewarded,” continued the Newcastle-born football legend.

“He had struggled at Pirates at the beginning, but I believe his hard work behind the scenes kept the technical team believing in him and he has now been rewarded. Even though he struggled to deliver consistent performances for Pirates, he remained committed and his high work rate influenced this move,” he added. 

“This is an opportunity for him to showcase his talent and take his game to the next level because the French Ligue 1 is top level. I think the scouts noticed that his commitment is good and they decided to sign him,” noted Mkhalele.

Moreover, the Bafana Bafana legend urged Munetsi not to put himself under pressure at the upcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Egypt where he will represent Zimbabwe.

“I think it’s a very good thing for him to secure this move before the Afcon tournament. It will definitely boost his confidence,” he said.

“However, I am not quite sure if it will put pressure on him to try and impress his new team. My advice to him is that he should take it easy because he has already signed and he should just enjoy the Afcon if he gets a chance to play for his country,” reacted the legend.

“I believe he has signed with a team that believes in him and he can do well in France without trying too much at the Afcon. Overall, this move comes at a good time for him because he will go to Afcon with some confidence although it will be a different stage in Egypt - I am happy for him and let’s hope he will do well in France,” concluded the legend.