COSAFA tournaments have long been known for developing young talent and we have yet another example as teenage forward Zito Luvumbo made his debut for Angola on Friday.
Luvumbo came off the bench as Angola won 1-0 in Gambia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier, and could feature again in the return on Tuesday.
Luvumbo was the star of the Angola side that lifted the 2018 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship title in Mauritius, and also played in the COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship later in the year.
He was able to showcase his talent on the regional stage and with scouts keeping a close eye on the tournaments, was rewarded with a trial at English Premier League Manchester United.
He has now also been selected for the senior Angola national team as he seeks to prove his reputation as one of the big up-and-coming stars from the Southern Africa region.
Luvumbo is the perfect example of the value of the COSAFA age-group and senior tournaments, where players are able to show their talent and be scouted, or even just prove to their own national association that they deserve to make the step up to the next level.
Recent reports say he has caught the eye of another English side West Ham United, while Portuguese outfit Boavista are also interested, while the ‘big three’ in that country, Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto and Benfica, are also keeping tabs on him.
He may get a whole new set of suitors when he represents Angola at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil next month.
It will be interesting to see what other stars emerge from the 2019 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championships that are to be staged in Malawi from October 11-20.