THE BREAKDOWN: Can Zungu Succeed In France?
Can Bongani Zungu Succeed In France?
With Bongani Zungu completing a deadline day move to France, we take a look to see whether he has what it takes to succeed in the same league as the likes of Neymar.
On deadline day, the Ligue 1 club, Amiens signed the Bafana Bafana international from Vitoria Guimaraes. However, they already have three central midfielders on their books at present, so, at this point, would Zungu be able to get regular playing time or would the potential move stunt his progress through a lack of regular playing time? We compare him to Guessouma Fofana, Thomas Monconduit and Mathieu Bodmer.
Click through the images above to see how Bongani Zungu compares to Amiens’ Guessouma Fofana, Thomas Monconduit and Mathieu Bodmer
The first, and most notable factor falling into Zungu’s favour would be his age. Out of the four players, he is the youngest. This means, that, just as he has room to develop further as a footballer, but the same can’t be said for his would-be teammates to the same extent.
In little over a year spent in Portugal, Zungu has been able to rack up a lot of playing time and impressed with his passing ability and his break up play. He completed 41.1 passes per game at an accuracy of 84.5% and 6.1 defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances) per game, while also showing off his qualities in the final third, with 0,5 key passes (passes that lead to chances on goal) and 0,5 shots per game. His emergence in Portugal has been impressive and Vitoria Guimaraes’ qualification for the UEFA Europa League as well as their appearance in the Taca de Portugal final is a testament to that.
Zungu has seen more time on the pitch in the last year or so than his counterparts, but his passing averages aren’t quite up to standard, although he does seem to be able to find his target far more often than not. Furthermore, his tackling and interceptions show that he has more to offer in break up play. His blocks and clearances also indicate that he can also form part of the final line of defence to great effect and, apart from Monconduit, he is a better dribbler. Interestingly enough, all of them have identical figures in terms of creating chances with key passes, but Zungu does fall behind Fofana in terms of taking shots on goal. Although Zungu did beat all of them in terms of the final product, goals scored.
All in all, it would seem that Zungu is ready to play in a prestigious league and in his new team, with Amiens having a void in their team that he is certainly capable of filling, and his chances of taking to the pitch and getting the playing time that he needs seem great. However, statistics don’t tell the full story and it must be considered that Zungu was injured for almost the entire first half the season, he was new to the European game and the Portuguese league is a different environment to France’s. On the same note, there are several factors that may not work in the favour of Amiens’ incumbent midfielders and that may overstate Zungu’s ability. Furthermore, nobody can predict the future, but the numbers do indicate that Zungu may be a hit with his new team.
Do you think Bongani Zungu should try to complete a move to France?