Mayuka makes French switch

Southampton's Emmanuel Mayuka
Southampton's Emmanuel Mayuka
CHIPOLOPOLO striker Emmanuel Mayuka has joined French Ligue 1 side Sochaux from English Premiership side Southampton on a season-long loan deal.

The loan move was confirmed by the club website and the player himself, who did not make any league appearance this season.

Mayuka, who last week scored his first competitive goal for Southampton in the Saints’ 5-1 thrashing of Barnsley in the Capitol One Cup, preferred the move to France ahead of two Belgium clubs Standard Liege and Glasgow Celtic that were interested in his services.

There were also options within England with several Championship sides showing interest in him among them Wigan Athletic.

Mayuka, who has been given jersey number 15, also confirmed the development on his facebook wall, saying that he was hopeful that the move would give him enough game time.

“Dear Friends, well, some of you are very well informed! I just signed a year-long loan deal with FC Sochaux in France 1st Division (Ligue 1). I will get game time there and hope score a few goals. And now, on my way to South Africa to join our national team. Thanks for your support and talk to you soon,” he said.

Mayuka, who is expected to join the Chipolopolo camp today ahead of Friday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ghana, is expected to report to the French club after the international break.

The club website reported that the Zambian frontman was allowed to get some regular game time in the French top-flight as he had not yet made an appearance in the Barclays Premier League this season.

With the recent arrival of Dani Osvaldo, Mayuka’s first team opportunities have become limited at St Mary’s, though the 22-year-old did play and score in the 5-1 win over Barnsley.

“It’s a big year for Emmanuel who is chasing World Cup qualification with his native Zambia, so the forward will be aiming for a consistent run of matches to keep himself in the frame of representing the Chipolopolo over the next 12 months,” Southampton reported on their website.

Mayuka will stay at Sochaux until June 30, 2014 before returning to Southampton next season to fight for a first team place as he still has four years remaining on his contract with the Saints.

Sochaux were held to a 0-0 draw by AC Ajaccio to leave them second from bottom with two points from the opening four matches which saw them collecting two draws having suffered two defeats scoring three goals conceding six times.

Next up for Sochaux is an away game to Nantes on September 14.