A giant midfielder 'in the mould of Yaya Toure' - Who is Marshall Munetsi, the Zimbabwean linked with Sheffield United?

Sheffield United have been linked with a Zimbabwean midfielder previously described as "in the mould of Yaya Toure".

Monday, 1st February 2021, 11:27 am

But who is Marshall Munetsi, what's he like and what are the chances of him arriving at Bramall Lane? Let's take a look...

The basics

Munetsi is a 24-year-old midfielder from Zimbabwe. He stands 6ft 2in tall and current plays for French club Reims, joining them in 2019 from South African club Orlando Pirates.

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He joined FC Cape Town in 2015 after impressing at the Friendly Academy in Harare, which was founded to provide talented young footballers with scholarships abroad and life-changing opportunities.

The Cape Town club described Munetsi as "in the mould of a typical Yaya Touré... Big‚ strong‚ mobile and a good passer of the ball."

He was won 19 caps for Zimbabwe.

What type of player is he?

Munetsi is a defensive midfielder, tasked more with stopping opposition attacks than creating them. He had a spell playing at centre-half for Orlando Pirates, but prefers to play in midfield.

Joe Crann, an expert in South African football, describes Munetsi as a good ball player and "really powerful", with good passing ability and a solid work ethic.

"Munetsi is a player I saw a fair bit of in South Africa, and he definitely put in the hard yards to move up the ranks," Crann said.

Reims' Zimbabwean midfielder Marshall Munetsi (R) vies for the ball with Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) during the French League Cup semi-final (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP via Getty Images)

"He's a big, versatile midfielder who is probably best deployed as a DM, but he's also played CM and as a central defender over the course of his career.

"For me, he's best used in midfield because he's a good ball player, is powerful and his passing ability and work ethic make him suited to that position.

"Orlando Pirates paid FC Cape Town the equivalent of about £100,000 for him a few years ago, and are thought to have made a fair bit of profit on him when he left for Reims."

Who else is chasing him?

According to reports, United have enquired about Munetsi, while Derby County and West Bromwich Albion, who United face tomorrow evening, have also been credited with an interest.

Reims are said to be open to the possibility of letting Munetsi leave on loan with a view to a permanent move.

Anything else we should know?

Munetsi has a foundation in his name and after moving to Reims, paid for the school fees of 60 children back in Zimbabwe.

"Growing up in Avondale and Mabvuku helped me to realise a lot of things and how hard it was," Munetsi was quoted as saying in Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald.

"It's a challenge for kids to get a better education when they can't go to school because of lack of finances.

"It's always good to see the kids happy and see the people in my own community happy as they saw me grow to be the person I am today with help from most of them."