Wenger takes second and final look at Mputu


The highly skillful hitman, who plies his trade at TP Mazembe, is best remembered in South Africa as the player who destroyed Mamelodi Sundowns’ chances in the 2007 CAF Champions League competition.

He netted two goals in the away fixture and then added another at home in Mazembe’s 5-4 aggregate win over the South African champions.

Mputu went on to finish the competition, which was won by Tunisia’s Etiole du Sahel, as top scorer with nine Champion League strikes and a further two in the Confederations Cup.

Mputu completed a second trial at London Colney today following a request by Arsene Wenger and the Gunners’ manager is reported to have said he was impressed.

The player, who was described by former Congo national team and current Ghana mentor Claude LeRoy as being better than Samuel Eto’o, also had a 10-day trial with the Gunners during November last year.

Mputu’s club, TP Mazembe arrived in London last Sunday and began using Arsenal’s training ground in preparation for a series of friendly games.

Wenger himself welcomed his guests and told them to feel at home.

According to TP Mazembe’s official website Arsene Wenger said to Mputu: “I hope that this time you really consider yourself as part of the family and I shall again want to see you work as you did last time”.

Interestingly enough, Mputu was recommended to Wenger by his long time friend Roland Scheubel whose judgment about potential talent is highly thought of by Wenger.

When Scheubel recommended Wenger look at a young Ivorian, Wenger listened. He needed little convincing to give Kolo Toure his chance and a transfer fee of around £150,000 was soon paid to his club, ASEC Mimosas. The rest is history.

Arsenal’s friendly against Mazembe is scheduled for today, and will provide Mputu with one last opportunity to convince Wenger to part with an estimated R5-million which will see him make his dream to move to the Premier League a reality.

Mputu has a host of other clubs interested in his signature, including Standard Liege of Belgium, and that is where Mazembe and Mputu are headed after their series of friendlies in England.