BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWEAN teenage sensation Isaac Mabaya has made a massive leap in his fledging football career after signing his first professional contract at Premier League giants Liverpool yesterday.
Mabaya, who turned 17 in July, plays as a fullback for the Merseyside club’s U18s and has been making considerable progress in the age group sides at Liverpool since he was recruited at the age of six.
The teenage prodigy has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of the club’s star fullback Alexander Arnold, who rose through the club’s junior ranks to become one of the modern game’s brightest stars.
After being impressed by his progress, Liverpool have moved quickly to secure his future after announcing on their official website that he has signed his first professional contract.
“Isaac Mabaya has signed his first professional contract with Liverpool FC,” the club said yesterday.
“The 17-year-old from Preston has been attending the Academy since the age of six. Mabaya broke into the U18s team last season as a 16-year-old and was initially deployed as a wide midfielder. A switch mid-season saw him move to full-back, where his ability to sweep forward as an attacking option has been impressive, and he has played at right-back for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18s this term. Mabaya has also enjoyed England recognition at U15 and U16 levels,” Liverpool said.
Mapaya was born in Preston, England, to Zimbabwean parents and has even been capped by his country of birth at Under-16 level.
However, he can still switch allegiance to Zimbabwe in the future as he qualifies through his parents, but Zimbabwe could face an uphill task to convince him to play for the Warriors.
The teenager’s father, David, worked as a pharmacist at United Bulawayo Hospitals up to 2000, before relocating to England.
The Mabayas hail from Mutare, where he last visited in 2014. Mabaya becomes the latest Zimbabwean linked young player to sign a professional contract at a Premier League club in the last few days after striker Jimiel Chikukwa, who joined Watford last Friday.
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