Just seven months ago, Zimbabwe international player Jordan Zemura was a peripheral figure at his English Championship side AFC Bournemouth.
He was worth just a little more than €30 000 given his roles were restricted to cameo appearances for the development side.
But there was always no doubting when it came to his potential as the Cherries decided to extend his deal until end of June this year.
While everyone, including the player himself expected to retain his role with the development team, a chance presented itself in the first team right on the opening day of the current campaign.
The team’s trusted left-back Jack Stacey got injured and coach Scott Parker decided to gamble with Zemura. He gave his all in that game and has never looked back since then despite missing about five games of the campaign in November due to an injury.
He has since recovered from the knock and has been sparkling at the Vitality Stadium.
That has seen his market value jumping steeply to over €2,5 million.
His contract, which he signed when he was still a little fringe player gives him around as little as €400 per week, making him one of the lowest-paid first-team players.
Given his exploits in the field of play, the 22-year-old star has been attracting interest from several clubs in the English Premier Soccer League as well as Serie A teams in Italy.
Keen to ward off competition for their prized asset, Bournemouth are understood to be preparing an offer that is too good to drop for Zemura who has since become a key figure for the Zimbabwe Warriors.
He is currently in Cameroon with the Zimbabwe national team and is expected to play a part in today’s must-win match against Malawi.
He missed the opener against Senegal on Monday after contracting Covid-19 while in camp with his English team.
Contract negotiations between him and the Cherries have been put on hold to allow the player to concentrate on his game.
And if he puts in a lot more work at the African Cup of Nations, his value is sure to continue rising and that would have an impact on his wage clause with Bournemouth.
“We have shelved contract negotiations with the team and for now I want to concentrate more on my game,” said Zemura.
“What’s important at the moment is my game in the field of play.
“I have been longing for an opportunity to showcase myself and the team decided to have me in the first side. I have been enjoying my game and we are all fighting to make sure the team gets promoted back into the English Premier League.
“That’s the ultimate objective and I know everything will also improve if we achieve that feat.”
Zemura said Zimbabwe should put their heads on the blocks against Malawi at the African Cup of Nations given they lost in their opening match of the campaign against Senegal.