Patson Daka

‘There’s An Aura Around Him’ – What They Say About Daka

Zambia forward Patson Daka is officially a Fox – and here’s how his current and former team-mates, manager and the media describe the newest recruit on Filbert Way.
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The 22-year-old will become Leicester City’s first signing of the summer on 1 July, arriving from Red Bull Salzburg on a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

He’s set the Austrian Bundesliga alight over the course of the past three seasons, not least in 2020/21, when he scooped the league’s Player of the Season award and was named in the Team of the Season.  

Scoring 27 goals from 28 games, 21 of which were starts, Daka finished as top goalscorer to help fire the Austrian giants to a league-cup double. 

What he’s doing, everyone is seeing he’s scoring for fun. His biggest strength is his pace. He uses it very well. We are seeing him develop into a good striker, with the strength, pace, and a great conversion rate.

Larry Bwalya Zambia team-mate

Salzburg’s February Player of the Month after six goals in seven games, Daka ran riot with a hat-trick against Rapid Vienna, when according to the club’s website: “His gazelle-like legs caused havoc in the Green and Whites' defence.”

His record across all formats was equally impressive, finding the net 34 times in 42 appearances, including a further 12 assists. 

That form has been evident throughout the prolific striker’s Salzburg career. Although joining in 2017, he emerged in the first team two years later and boasts a total of 68 goals and 27 assists in 125 matches for the club.

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

In total, Patson has scored 70 goals in 125 appearances in all competitions in Austria.

A player coveted by several clubs around Europe, fellow Zambian international Larry Bwalya felt it was only a matter of time before he made the step up into one of continent’s top leagues. 

“He’s a good guy, a humble guy", Bwalya told the i newspaper in April. “I believe in him. When we played together you could see he was someone who had so much potential. He was having ups and downs, but I was there including some other friends to encourage him.

“What he’s doing, everyone is seeing he’s scoring for fun. His biggest strength is his pace. He uses it very well. We are seeing him develop into a good striker, with the strength, pace, and a great conversion rate.”

Knowing his heart, mind and soul, I'm fully convinced that he's on a very good road to reach his full potential. I believe he has everything that it takes.

Milutin Sredojević Zambia head coach

Zambia’s national team head coach Milutin Sredojević, meanwhile, has lauded Daka’s talents, believing he has all the attributes, and crucially, the right attitude to succeed at the highest level. 

“I look at his football heart,” the Chipolopolo coach said, voicing his opinion to BBC Sport Africa in an interview earlier this year. “I look at his football soul. And I look at his football mind. Knowing his heart, mind and soul, I'm fully convinced that he's on a very good road to reach his full potential. I believe he has everything that it takes.”

Others who saw Daka play in his native Zambia were also impressed with his abilities. Although, it has not been an easy road for the Kafue-born forward.

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

Daka has told LCFC TV it will be 'a dream come true' to play for Leicester in the Premier League.

In an interview with First Time Finish, Kafue Celtics director Lee Kawanu revealed how he spotted Daka’s potential from an early age.  

“You can just see an aura around Patson,” he commented. “It takes a lot for me to be convinced by a player. I’ve been around the scouting game for a long time. 

“I scout all the players who come to my team because there is a certain character that I look for and Patson just had this thing about him.

I told him four years ago that he would be the next big thing in Africa. The reason why I think he can get better is because he is always willing to learn and he is always improving.

Lee Kawanu Kafue Celtics director

“With him I’ve always been a bit cautious, I’ve always tried to preserve him a bit, but he’s surprised me every step of the way. Just when I think he’s maybe at his limit he gets better.

“Deep inside, quietly I’ve always believed in him. I told him four years ago that he would be the next big thing in Africa. The reason why I think he can get better is because he is always willing to learn and he is always improving.”

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

The Zambia international has agreed a five-year contract with Leicester City.

Daka was not the only Zambian plying his trade at Red Bull Salzburg. Enock Mwepu emerged with a similar career path having played with Daka at Kafue Celtic whilst also featuring for his country’s youth teams at international level, before both earned a move to Salzburg in the summer of 2017. 

"It was always a great inspiration for me to see how well Patson is developing,” the midfielder remarked when speaking to Redbull.com in April.

“It motivated me to train even harder, to work even harder to achieve what he has already succeeded in doing. He was always the leader in our team, and I wanted to be like him."

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