New Amiens SC midfielder Bongani Zungu has explained his decision to join the French Ligue 1 club
Posted: 6 September 2017 Time: 08:01
It may have come as a surprise that Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu left the opportunity to play Europa League football with Vitoria Guimaraes to join French Ligue 1 newbies Amiens SC.
But the former Mamelodi Sundowns man says the project he was told about at Amiens was tempting and it’s the reason he decided to join the French side on transfer deadline day last week, after spending just one season in Portugal.
Amiens were promoted at the end of last season and have made a shaky start to the season, with three defeats in four league matches. They are 18th on the table and need to pick up points to avoid fighting relegation.
The French Ligue 1 has launched the careers of many African players, such as Didier Drogba and Michael Essien, so Zungu will hope that he follows in the footsteps of players who made it big after playing in France.
The 24-year-old has no doubt he will do well for his new team.
"I don't think it'll be too much work for me. The team is very ambitious and they've made some good signings, and I'm confident this is the right move for me," Zungu says.
"The signings they've made and the project for the season, I just thought this is the right move for me.
"Obviously I need to go there and do what I did in Portugal, I have to adapt. There's no time because the season has already started and we've a game on Sunday [against Strasbourg]. I just have to go there and adapt and I don't doubt that I'll do well."
The former University of Pretoria man was previously linked with Portuguese giants Benfica, but that move did not materialise. Apparently Guimaraes did not want to sell him to a rival in Portugal, so agreeing to a deal with a foreign club was the best solution.
Zungu says he also thought he was going to join a big club.
"Well, I was also expecting that something big might come," he reveals.
"But maybe they [Guimaraes] know why that didn't happen. They decided to accept the deal from France. But for me I was happy because I spoke to the guys there [in France]."
Zungu will be joining towering Ivory Coast and former Everton striker Lacina Traore and ex-Chelsea forward Gael Kakuta as the club’s new signings, among others.
Zungu will also join fellow South Africans Kermit Erasmus [Rennes], Keagan Dolly [Montpelier], Lebogang Phiri [Guingamp] and Lebogang Mothiba [Valenciennes] in France.