Lyon plucked Tino Kadewere from Ligue 2 outfit Le Havre in January 2020 in a transfer deal worth up to €15 million. He was seen primarily as an exciting prospect for the future and was therefore loaned back to the Normandy based club for the remainder of the season.
At twenty-four, the Zimbabwean international striker will be something of a late developer if he does go on to make a big impact at OL, having never previously played at the top level in one of Europe’s major leagues. However, his career trajectory has been steadily on the rise and he still has some time on his side. He may well benefit from coming into the squad at a time when his fellow Lyon strikers are all struggling for goals in the early part of the 2020-21 season.
Kadewere was born in the Zimbabwean capital Harare and began his career with local club Harare City. He had only made a few appearances for them before he went to try his luck in Europe and joined Swedish top division club Djurgården, initially on loan and then permanently following a successful trial.
He made his debut for the Zimbabwe national team as a nineteen-year-old in 2015 shortly before he arrived in Sweden, but he was used sparingly, and often as a substitute during his first couple of years at Djurgården before making his breakthrough in the 2018 season with eight goals in twelve league appearances and winning the Swedish Cup.
June 2018 saw Kadewere travel to South Africa to contest the COSAFA Cup with his national team and he played a major role in the final against Zambia, scoring twice, including a crucial injury time equaliser, as Zimbabwe went on to lift the trophy. Those remain his only two international goals to date.
That form prompted Le Havre to pay €2 million for his services and he made 23 appearances in Ligue 2 in the 2018-19 season but clearly took time to adapt to his new surroundings, finding the net only five times during the campaign. The following season was a different story, with Kadewere going from strength to strength as he plundered 20 goals in just 24 games to finish as the division’s top scorer.
Lyon clearly believe that he will be able to make the step up to a higher level and he’s likely to get some opportunities to do so during the coming season as Lyon have off-loaded the likes of Martin Terrier and Bertrand Traore to move Kadewere further up the pecking order of their attacking options.