Zambian football sensation, Patson Daka, is thrilling his way through prominence. It is fair to say he is loving every bit of what has so far been a high-flying career.
I first interviewed Daka in 2017. Three years on, he has built on what football heads say is a brilliant show of talent that is infectious when on display.
Last weekend, when I hosted him on #InConversationWith, he spoke about the steady rise, and how he has become a major boardroom item at top clubs.
Young and brilliant but of very few words, the modesty he oozes is evident, the kind of control needed for a career whose cruise is soaring match after the other.
Daka is making all the headlines.
In recent times, he has been compared to his former teammate at Redbull Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund star Haaland. He is not entirely surprised about.
“It’s not a matter of fitting into his shoes. I have always been there. I believe it was just a matter of time. Things happen differently for everybody,” he says.
He adds that “I knew my time will come and now that things are happening for me, it is now all about how to handle it. It’s all in my hands. I don’t have to fit in but continue walking in my own shoes.”
A talked-about career means pressure to stay relevant but Daka says, all of that provides motivation, the kind needed at the rate he is going.
The 21-year-old has been in prolific form this season, scoring 23 goals from 25 games in Austria’s Bundesliga – a tally which includes three hat-tricks.
“There is always pressure but how you handle it. defines you. For me, I take pressure as a motivation. Growing up, I have always had pressure.
“Every club that I played for, I had pressure but I don’t let it define me. I look at how best it is going to work for me.
“I can only be better than my last game. If you put your mind on negativity you can’t expect positive results.”
Daka’s career is under constant scrutiny from possible suitors hence a sought-for material in Europe. He is fully aware of the tussle for his signature.
The lures are tempting but he is willing to soak in the moment.
“I’m not really sure how long I will be here. I have a running contract until 2024. For now, my focus is on what I can achieve today. This, is what is going to market me. I leave all transfer speculation to my agent.”
As Daka works his way up the ladder of professional football, there is every reason to be excited about what he has achieved so far.
A proud Chipolopolo, he is hopeful that someday, he will be part of a glorious Zambian national team that will make it to the World Cup, for the very first time.
Until that happens, he continues to bloom one sensation after the other.
By Juliet Bawuah|3news.com|Ghana