HARARE – CAPS United are on the verge of signing Malawian teenage sensation Gerald Phiri Jnr on a two-year deal.
The highly-rated Mighty Wanderers winger – who can also play anywhere upfront – arrived in Harare on Friday as a free agent for a routine trial.
Malawian journalist Peter Kanjere piled on the praise on the 19-year-old, whose father Gerald Phiri Snr is an assistant coach at Malawian top-flight side Big Bullets.
“I would be interested to see if there is a genuine 19-year-old who is any better than Papa in Zimbabwe,” Kanjere told the Daily News from Blantyre yesterday.
Papa is Phiri’s nickname.
“His strength is his height (roughly over 1.8 m) and flexibility on either foot. He is deadly. His other strength is his set-piece skills; he can fire rockets of free kicks from any range. He can cross expertly. His awareness and technical ability are good. He can play anywhere in the middle of the park but spends most times on either flank. In rare cases, Wanderers featured him as a support striker.
“His weakness is his small frame which leads to his lack of strength on the ball when being marked by bigger opponents. He can improve on ball winning.”
Reports from Malawi claim CAPS are ready to pay $20 000 as Phiri’s sign-on fee.
Wanderers general-secretary David Kanyenda said Wanderers would be entitled to 15 percent in the event that Phiri is re-sold as “he is a world-class player; in a few years, he should move to South Africa or Europe.”
Kanyenda on Sunday said CAPS initially wanted Phiri alongside Foster Namwela. But the later has since signed for Mozambique’s Ferroviaro de Nampula.
“They will have a look at him (Phiri). He may not come back as the Zimbabwe league is in progress. The matter is out of our hands. They will tell us the way forward; otherwise, we agreed on the transfer fee,” he said.
“We have an idea about his personal terms. We wanted to see the contract so that the player’s interests are protected. It is a handsome package (the player’s perks).”
Zimbabwe’s player transfer window closed last week, but free agents can sign outside the window.