BRENDAN Galloway’s move to Plymouth Argyle, where he is expected to get regular game time, could be good news to the Warriors technical bench ahead of the team’s World Cup qualifiers in September.
The Harare-born former England youth international signed a short-term contract with the League One club in a deal that was announced on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old agreed to an incentivised deal until January, meaning the more he plays the better rewarded he is.
This development could come as a huge relief to Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić who is desperately short of personnel in the left-back position going into the qualifiers.
Zimbabwe are in Group G of the qualifiers together with Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia. The top team will progress to the final stage of the qualification process.
Devine Lunga had looked to have cemented his place in the team in that department, but a fallout with the Croat saw the Mamelodi Sundowns new player being left out of the team’s last Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia.
The former Chicken Inn and Golden Arrows defender reportedly snubbed a national team call citing an injury but continued to play for his South African league team, something that infuriated Loga.
Veteran defender Onismor Bhasera was used as a stop-gap measure in the two Afcon qualifiers, and did enough to justify another call-up.
While Loga and Lunga have since mended their relationship and the later had been included in May’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers before they were postponed to September due to Covid-19, the availability of a fit-again Galloway could be a huge boost to the team’s quest to qualify for their first-ever World Cup finals.
The 25-year-old former Everton player who has previously turned down Warriors calls was recently persuaded to play for Zimbabwe.
He too had been included in the Warriors squad for the World Cup qualifiers, but his lack of game time at his former club Luton Town, was a huge concern for Loga and the nation’s football lovers.
Galloway played just six times in an injury-hit two-year spell at Luton that ended in December.
He played 21 times for Everton, including 17 Premier League games after joining from MK Dons in 2014.
He also had loan spells at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League and Sunderland in the Championship.
But his fortunes are expected to change at his new base where he is expected to command the team’s jersey.
He has already featured in four pre-season games for Argyle against English Championship, League One and League Two opposition.
Argyle is expected to play four more friendly matches in preparation for their season which they open with a trip to Rotherham United in a fortnight’s time.
By the time the Warriors kick-start their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, Galloway could have played more than 10 league matches for his side, which could give him the much needed match fitness.
Argyle coach Ryan Lowe believes Plymouth Argyle are getting a “fantastic player”.
Lowe said, “Brendan came in with us at the end of last season for a week and loved it. Obviously, we were aware of his injury record and it is no secret that he had not played many games.
“So we said we want to get you back pre-season, have a good look at you, get a couple of games under your belt. He has not missed one day’s training and he has played in all of the games and I am really pleased with him.
“He is a fantastic character, but he is also a fantastic player. He has loved every minute of it here, he wanted to stay, he had interest from other clubs.
“I feel, and everyone at the club feels, that we have got a fantastic player who Argyle may not have ever got because of where he has been.
“What I can say with him is he has not missed a day’s training, he has not missed any minutes of games, which is a good sign.”