Opinion

Patson Daka: Things to know about the Zambian striker

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Player Profile: Patson Daka
Player Profile: Patson Daka /
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From the outside looking in, it seemed fairly impossible for Red Bull Salzburg to replace Erling Haaland - but they have.

And they've replace one of the best young strikers in the world with another premier goal getter in the form of Patson Daka. The Zambia international has scored a fairly ridiculous 31 goals in 37 games this season in all competitions in 2020/21 so far, and as such, he looks set to join RB Leipzig this summer.

Here's everything you need to know about the forward.


1. He was the Austrian Bundesliga’s second top scorer last season

Daka celebrates a goal for Red Bull Salzburg.
Daka celebrates a goal for Red Bull Salzburg. / David Geieregger/Getty Images

Scoring goals is the basic requirement for any striker, and Daka is certainly an expert at finding the back of the net.

Having scored just three goals across his first two Bundesliga seasons, the forward truly found his form last year in an outstanding season.

Daka scored 24 goals in 31 appearances, finishing second in the goalscoring charts only behind Wolfsberger AC’s Shon Weissman. He netted three hat-tricks while scoring a goal every 78 minutes, helping Die Mozartstädter cruise to their 14th league title.


2. Daka made his Zambia debut aged 16

Daka scores for Zambia.
Daka scores for Zambia. / AFP/Getty Images

Daka is no stranger to the international stage, having represented Zambia since his teenage years.

He was first called up to the senior squad by Honour Janza five years ago for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.

Aged just 16, Daka started up front against Guinea-Bissau in June 2015, eventually coming off in a 0-0 draw. Daka has since got three goals and two assists in ten caps, and he looks certain to lead the line for Chipolopolo for many years to come.


3. He won CAF youth player of the year

Daka with the CAF Young Player of the Year award.
Daka with the CAF Young Player of the Year award. / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/Getty Images

Two years after making his international debut, Daka was named African Youth Player of the Year for 2017. The striker was already playing in Austria when he received the accolade, becoming only the second Zambian after Clifford Mulenga to win it.

Daka followed in the footsteps of Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen in winning the award, which has since been won twice by Achraf Hakimi.


4. Daka’s agent is a former Tottenham striker

Former Tottenham striker Frédéric Kanouté.
Former Tottenham striker Frédéric Kanouté. / Phil Cole/Getty Images

Daka’s agent will be crucial in deciding whether he stays or leaves, and it just so happens that his current agency is headed up by a former Tottenham player. Frédéric Kanouté played across Europe during his professional career, which included a two-year stint at Spurs.

Kanouté scored 22 goals in 73 appearances for the Lilywhites, before being sold to Sevilla in 2005. He could be pivotal in deciding where Daka ends up next.


5. He is inspired by Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta

Liverpool's Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta.
Liverpool's Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta. / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

If Daka signs for Tottenham, he would not be the first African player to end up in the Premier League via RB Salzburg. Liverpool stars Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta both took that route, and Daka has spoken of his admiration for the pair.

In an interview with Red Bull, he said: “They inspire me in so many ways in their personality, their professionalism and seeing also that they come from Africa – where I come from – it’s a motivation to know that if they can make it, I can also make it.”


6. He is a Liverpool fan

Fabinho, Patson Daka
Daka in action against boyhood club Liverpool / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

As well as the Mane and Keita connection, Daka grew up as a big Liverpool supporter.

"I have always been a Liverpool fan. Playing them at Anfield was a dream come true," he told 90min.

The forward got his first chance to experience the magic of Liverpool's stadium in a Champions League group stage encounter last season, while he also scored against the Reds in a pre-season friendly during the summer.

7. Eight-minute hat-trick

FC Red Bull Salzburg v SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz - tipico Bundesliga
Daka can't stop scoring / Chris Bauer/Getty Images

Daka's goalscoring heroics have only increased this season.

To date, he has 31 goals in 37 games, including 24 in just 24 outings in the Bundesliga.

Most notably he bagged an eight-minute hat-trick (EIGHT) in the 3-1 win over Sturm Graz on 4 April.


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