Currently the only Zimbabwean player featuring in Spain’s LaLiga this season, Tinotenda Kadewere is now getting the opportunity to shine at RCD Mallorca, having overcome physical struggles that blighted his initial steps at the club.
Ever since making his professional breakthrough at hometown side Harare City, the trajectory of Kadewere has taken him from Djurgårdens IF in Sweden to Le Harve and Lyon in France. Last summer this European football adventure began a new chapter, leading the 19-cap Zimbabwe international to the Balearic Islands, nestling in the azure waters of the Mediterranean.
Kadewere joined RCD Mallorca on loan from Lyon, as the club aimed to bolster their attacking options, during the summer 2022 transfer window. This deal was estimated to have cost EUR €400,000 for the initial period on loan, along with the Spanish club reserving an option to make the move permanent, believed to be worth EUR €8 million.
“To be honest, I am very excited, happy and proud. It is a unique moment for me,” enthused Kadewere at his presentation press conference, looking forward to meeting the fans and optimistic ahead of this new challenge. Sadly for the talented forward, he suffered an injury to the quadriceps of his right leg, requiring a lengthy period of recovery.
🇿🇼 @Tino_Kadewere_ becomes the first ever Zimbabwean to feature in a @LaLiga match!
👺 Go for it, Tino! pic.twitter.com/EUyh98LuHE
— Real Mallorca (@RCD_Mallorca) January 1, 2023
Having eagerly anticipated making his debut in LaLiga with Mallorca, this would have to wait, as the Zimbabwean first overcame the injury then worked towards full fitness. Eventually, after being given a clean bill of health, Kadewere became available for squad selection by November, much to the pleasure his manager Javier Aguirre.
Furthermore, the debut appearance for Kadewere couldn’t have been any better, marking his first appearance by scoring in the 6-0 victory against CD Autol in the Copa del Rey. Since then, another important milestone was reached, when he became the first ever Zimbabwean to play in any LaLiga match.
All the hard work and effort paid off in the end, thanks to demonstrating tactical and positional flexibility for head coach Aguirre, who decided to deploy Kadewere on the left wing for the game against Villarreal. That faith was repaid in full during a thrilling 4-2 victory, when he became the first Zimbabwean to score in LaLiga, recording a new career milestone.
Now making history, showcasing his capabilities in one of the most prominent domestic leagues in European football, Kadewere is undoubtedly keen to help Mallorca realise their potential. But right now, the immediate objective is none other than guaranteeing their top flight status, albeit still keeping their options open towards greater success.
Such is the level of competitiveness in LaLiga this season, with 24 games of 38 played and currently on 31 points, Mallorca find themselves just as close to European qualification as they are to relegation. Occupying 10th position, they are six points behind Villarreal and the top six, whilst also six points ahead of Almería in 18th position and the drop zone.
Likewise, predicting the final outcome is far from easy, particularly with oddsmakers changing prices to reflect the fluidity of teams changing positions. But for punters wagering on LaLiga games, that can also provide an opportunity, especially when looking to compare top online sports betting sites, backed by in-depth analysis and reviews from SBO experts.
Given the compact situation in the bottom half of the table, Mallorca are one of ten sides in the thick of an intriguing scrap to avoid relegation, although they are in a more positive situation than most. Typically in LaLiga, managers consider 40 points enough to secure the top flight status of their teams, but even that benchmark may not be sufficient this season.
Kadewere will certainly be hoping so, particularly now that he is playing a more important role at Mallorca, which could lead to earning a permanent move to the Spanish side. In the meantime, fans back home in Zimbabwe will undoubtedly be wishing him all the best, hopeful the recent form will continue when he next represents the national team.