PATSON DREAMS OF REACHING LEVELS OF SALAR, MANE & AUBAMEYANG
WITH Speculation about a move to Europe’s elite for Patson Daka is somewhat inevitable because in-form players at Red Bull Salzburg get noticed and the Zambia striker is the latest.
The Chipolopolo striker has made his mark at the Austrian champions, a club famous in recent years for producing high-profile talent, including Sadio Mane and Erling Haaland.
While Daka, who was named the Confederation of African Football’s Young Player of the Year in 2017, is a modest man he is also very determined and takes inspiration from the best on the continent.
“To see our big brothers like (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, (Mohamed) Salah, (Sadio) Mane, it’s something that gives me the dream that I can also make it,” he enthuses.
“I can be like them. They are my inspiration, knowing that they also come from Africa. I think when people are making those kind of comparisons, it’s great, looking at the status of Sadio Mane, the kind of football he plays and the kind of person that he is,” Daka said.
It is not just on the pitch where Daka can be likened to Mane. Both have a humility, almost a shyness, and keep a low profile.
“My biggest dream is to give hope to a lot of underprivileged people. When I look back I want to be proud to hear people say, ‘because of you, I never gave up my dream.You gave me the opportunity to believe in myself,’ because I know how difficult it is.”
Daka has been on the books of Salzburg since 2017 after initially moving to Austria on loan from Zambia’s Kafue Celtic to Salzburg’s second-tier feeder team Liefering.
His rise to the top began in Zambia when he joined an African football programme called Airtel Rising Stars when he was a teenage which propelled him to play in the domestic top-flight soon after.
It was his goal-scoring exploits for the national youth teams caught the attention of the 12 Management agency, which is run by former Spurs and Mali striker Freddie Kanoute, and he was soon playing for Liefering.