No-one chooses to remember Teddy Sheringham‘s time in charge at Boro’ – do they? As failed experiments go, his spell as gaffer is right up there; the ex-Spurs striker leaving us dangling dangerously above the League Two drop zone with just six wins from 29 games*. But it also means most of Teddy’s signings during his six-month stay don’t exactly stick in the mind either. And that’s why we’re now asking – who the hell was Offrande Zanzala?
*Yeah. We thought it as soon as we wrote it. We’d take six wins from 29 games now too.
Offrande Zanzala: Who Is He?
Born in the Republic of Congo, Offrande Zanzala and his family were forced to leave their homeland due to civil war; arriving in England – via Austria – during the mid-2000s. At the tender age of just 12, Derby County signed him to their academy and he started making a name for himself as a striker in the Rams’ youth ranks. In October 2015, his name was up in lights for the first time; picking up the U21 Premier League Player of the Month award.
When did he sign and who from?
Just two months later and the other side of Christmas, Zanzala arrived at the Lamex. The gaffer needed goals from somewhere. Sure, the Derby man had been finding the net on a regular enough basis in the U21 Premier League. But League Two? We didn’t wait long to find out; the 18-year-old forward making his debut on the day his signing was confirmed.
Did he play often?
Not in the slighted. Zanzala signed on a one-month loan, so didn’t have long to make his mark. His debut against Barnet produced one booking – but no goals. Sheringham didn’t stick with him; the forward not featuring in our squad the following week at York City.
But Zanzala was back in the frame for Crawley at home the week after that, even though Sheringham (the man who signed him in) was given the boot after the defeat at York. He came on with Boro’ trailing to the Red Devils. All he came back with was another booking.
Where is Offrande Zanazala now?
With little fanfare, Zanzala returned to the Rams and back into their U21 Premier League side. While he penned a new deal at Pride Park in February 2017, the forward went back out on loan in October that year to Chester. In January 2018, he was off to Accrington.
He must’ve made a real impact at the Crown Ground – even though his record, on paper, doesn’t look amazing. Whatever he did, however, encouraged Accy to come back for him in summer 2018; signing him on a permanent deal after getting promotion to League One.
Zanzala is still at the Wham Ground; scoring eight times so far in the 2019-20 campaign – more than his totals in three previous seasons of senior football combined. Moving in the right direction then. And good luck to him. He had a tough gig coming here when he did…
OFFRANDE ZANZALA – 1 (1) appearances, 0 goals (2016)