In a flash, Munetsi went from being unwanted at Pirates, to attracting interest from the EPL


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The fact that Marshall Munetsi is always smiling might have resulted in many not noticing the struggles he went through at Orlando Pirates.

The Mabvuku-bred midfielder, despite his quality, two different coaches at the Soweto giants didn’t seem to believe in his ability.

Ertugral Muhsin, who had replaced Erik Tinkler in the Pirates dugout, clearly told Munetsi he had no intentions of playing him and loaned the Zimbabwean midfielder to Baroka.

When his loan spell at the Limpopo-based side ended, Munetsi returned to Pirates and Serbian tactician Milutin Sredojevic, better known as Micho, was now in charge.

Micho, just like Muhsin, did not have Munetsi in his plans and the soft-spoken midfielder tried to move to Ajax Cape Town, but the deal fell through at the eleventh hour.

He was not even registered, for the first six months of the 2017/18 season.

When he was finally given a chance to play, Munetsi was told he would be doing so in an unfamiliar position —in central defence.

For someone desperate to play, that did not matter to the gifted midfielder who quickly adapted to life in the heart of the Pirates defence.

“It was a huge blow for me personally as a player as I was trying to make some strides after Baroka. And when they finally gave me a chance they said they wanted to use me as a central defender, but for me personally, I just wanted to play and I didn’t really care where I would be playing. After that a lot of people thought I was a centre-back,” said Munetsi.

After making 24 appearances for and helping them reach the Telkom Knockout final as well as a second-place finish in the league, Munetsi moved to French Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims before the 2019 Afcon finals.

Despite the struggles in Soweto, the midfielder still had good words for the club when he left for France.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank the Chairman and management for all the support they have given me ever since I arrived at the club,” he told the club’s media department in 2019.

“I came here as a young boy but now I leave as a man. I would also like to thank the coaches, my teammates and most importantly the fans of this wonderful club for all the love and support they’ve shown me.

“As I turn the page to a new chapter in my football career, I look forward to the new challenge this presents but as I move forward I can never forget my roots … Once a Pirate Always a Pirate!”

3 years after he left Pirates, after three seasons at Reims, where has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Kylian Mpappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi, Munetsi is on the radar of Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Graham Potter-coached side has reportedly approached Reims for Munetsi’s signature.

In a flash, the Warriors star has gone from being unwanted at Pirates to attracting interest in the Premier League.