Larsen hopes for Mutizwa return
Posted: 30 May 2017 Time: 09:58
Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen is keeping his fingers crossed that striker Knox Mutizwa will jump at the opportunity to return to the club next season.
Mutizwa is due back at Wits in July after a six-month spell on loan at Arrows where he scored five goals in 14 league appearances.
'The Knoxman', who settled swiftly at Abafana Bes'thende alongside Zimbabwean compatriots Danny Phiri and Kudakwashe Mahachi, reasserted his worth with a late winner against Orlando Pirates after stepping off the bench at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
He also bagged a late equaliser as a substitute in the 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs earlier this month which ended the Soweto giants' title hopes.
Larsen has only positive things to say about Mutizwa's contribution to the club's top-eight finish in 2016/17.
"Listen, he has made a positive impact in a very short space of time and I'm very happy for him. You know he didn't get the opportunity at Wits but we gave him that opportunity," says Larsen.
"I think a lot of people will talk about him now. I'm very pleased for him but yeah we got competition with him and Lerato Lamola, Sibusiso Sibeko at the top and that kept them on their toes.
"With the impact that he has made, of course we would like to keep him but it's not up to us. He's got to go back to his club and spend pre-season and we'll wait and see what Wits' plans are for him.
"During the second half against Pirates, we had the feeling on the bench that this could be a game that Mutizwa could come on and he's very clinical and very composed in the final third. We just felt the moment was right for us and it worked out."
Larsen believes Abafana Bes'thende provided a warm environment for Mutizwa to find his feet in Durban.
"In a very short space of time he had a very positive impact as I've said. Usually players, especially foreign players, will come and it takes time for them to settle but I think what helped him was that he was training at Wits' senior team for quite a while," Larsen adds.
"He acclimatised and it helped when he got here and having compatriots from your country here also helped as well: Mahachi and Danny Phiri so that helped. So yeah he really came and scored some goals for us and I'm sure in 11 or 12 starts, I haven't looked at the stats yet, but he's got five goals so that's about a goal every three games. He's also a humble guy.
"I think also the environment is important. If you want to excel in your graft you've got to be comfortable and happy or else you won't perform to your full potential. And any player that is doing well it's simple: he's happy in an environment he's in, and I think that goes for Mutizwa. So let's hope something happens but we were just happy that we've managed to secure a quality player like him who has helped the club to be where it is right now."
Arrows will face Mutizwa's parent club Wits in the MTN8 quarter-finals next term.