League reigning champions APR announced, last week, the signing of Rwanda international striker Jacques Tuyisenge following his exit from Angola’s Petro Atletico.
The celebrated striker, who has been one of the best strikers in the region for half a decade, penned a two-year contract with the army side that seek to re-write history on the continental scene.
For the last 25 years, APR have been by far the most dominant side on the domestic scene, having won 18 league titles and 14 Peace Cups – both records. However, they have continuously struggled to make a mark in African club competitions – Champions League and Confederation Cup – where they are yet to reach the group stage.
The capture of Tuyisenge, with such a vast experience, is a big statement by the black-and-white outfit who clinched the league title unbeaten last season.
But what exactly is Tuyisenge bringing to APR?
APR are a club that pride themselves in being the best team in Rwanda and have some of the best players at their positions in the country such as goalkeeper Umar Rwabugiri, centre-back Thierry Manzi, holding midfielder Olivier Niyonzima, attacking midfielder Djabel Imanishimwe and strikers Dany Usengimana and new signing Yannick Bizimana.
But, Tuyisenge offers something special. He has more experience, leadership and longevity at the top than any of the aforesaid new teammates.
He was one of the best forwards in local football where he captained Police to their first and only major silverware – the 2015 Peace Cup – before he joined Kenyan giants Gor Mahia in February 2016. Only three-and-a-half years later, he departed Gor as their all-time foreign top-scorer.
Tuyisenge, who turns 29 today, September 22, has also played more matches in continental matches – at club level and with the national team – than any player in APR’s current squad.
2. Link between midfield and forward line
Tuyisenge is a player who can perfectly link the midfield to the forward line, an area where the team has been noticeably lacking. His pace and creativity will enable him to wreak havoc for the opponents.
He can also comfortably play either as a second striker or winger, and that versatility will be a valuable asset to Adil Erradi’s side who will represent the country in the Caf Champions League next season.
For a player who emerged as Gor Mahia’s top-scorer during three of his four seasons with the club, Tuyisenge guarantees loads of goals to APR.
Tuyisenge netted 63 times for Gor Mahia in all competitions, and is best remembered for his stunning header as the Kenyan side lost 2-1 to English Premier League side Everton in a preseason match in 2018.Follow https://twitter.com/NkotanyiDamas