Home Sport Cape Town City break the bank to sign Colombian striker Juan Zapata

Cape Town City break the bank to sign Colombian striker Juan Zapata

Johannesburg – Cape Town City’s new striker Juan Zapata says “it’s a dream” to join the club after signing for a record club transfer fee.

Zapata is a Colombian-born footballer with his career starting in his home nation before he recently joined Venezuelan outfit Hermanos Colmenarez.

At Colmenarez, Zapata scored 44 goals in 73 appearances, a feat that he feels forced the hand of City to go for him.

By joining City, the 28-year-old  striker has moved outside South America for the first time. But he’s not panicking, saying he’s happy to be with the Citizens.

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“For me, it’s a dream and I feel lucky, very happy to wear these colours,” said Zapata during his unveiling after signing a four-year deal on Friday.

“I want to pay (back) the club with effort, work, and dedication. The truth is, I see a very good group of players, a solid team with great footing as well.”

Zapata can’t wait to “get in there and fight with everyone else”, a mentality that should please coach Eric Tinkler who’s under pressure to deliver.

City had a disappointing first half of the season. They crashed out of both the preliminary qualifiers of the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup.

In the league they are 13th on the standings, two points clear of bottom-placed Maritzburg United.

That might seem as though it was expected after a number of players, including the league’s Goalkeeper of the Season Hugo Marques, left City.

But not to chairman John Comitis. The veteran administrator had broken the bank to sign a number of new players, including striker Wayde Lekay.

The bug of losing their key stalwarts during the January transfer window has hit City’s camp again – they sold Craig Martin this week.

The 29-year-old winger was unveiled as a new Orlando Pirates player on Thursday, joining the club on a two-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

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It’s not only Martin that the Citizens might have to replace in the next few weeks, with rumours linking Khanyisa Mayo with a move in January.

Mayo had a fantastic first half of the season at City, and has received regular Bafana Bafana call-ups after impressing coach Hugo Broos. There are rumours that champions Mamelodi Sundowns are vying for his services ahead of the January window.

And chances are that a deal will be made between the two clubs as City sold their best players, Bradley Ralani and Terrence Mashego, to Downs in the last year.

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport