Zambia forward Jacob Mulenga said he intends to move from FC Utrecht to a bigger club and would love to play for Liverpool.
Mulenga, who can play up front or on either wing, has scored two goals for Zambia ahead of their final group match on Thursday at the Orange Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
Zambia are last in Group D but will advance to the quarterfinals on the head-to-head rule if they beat leader Gabon.
“I am a big fan of Liverpool,” Mulenga told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “If I have to play against Liverpool, I would have to forget the admiration I have for them and play to win.”
Mulenga will turn 26 next month and has scored five goals in 17 appearances in the Dutch league. He says he is happy at Utrecht, where he normally plays on the left wing, but intends to move in the near future.
“FC Utrecht is a great club,” he said. “They are helping me a lot but I cannot sit back and say I don’t dream of playing for a bigger club.”
Utrecht drew 0-0 with Dutch leader FC Twente last week, and coach Ton du Chatinier is looking forward to Mulenga returning.
“Jacob is a player who is always dangerous,” Du Chatinier said. “For us it is a pity that he is playing in Angola. I hope he will be back soon because we need him.”
Mulenga scored 32 goals in 38 matches at Zambian club Afrisport FC before moving to La Berrichonne de Chateauroux in the French second division, where he scored 27 in 109 games. A deeply religious man, Mulenga moved to Utrecht at the start of this season.
“For a couple of years I had a lot of people who thought I couldn’t score goals,” Mulenga said. “With prayers and hard work, anything is possible.”
Mulenga has drawn comparisons with Zambian great Kalusha Bwalya for his eye for goal and ability to trouble defenders with his pace.
“Jacob is a skillful player,” Zambia coach Herve Renard said. “He has all the qualities. He is intelligent, open-minded and well-educated. Congratulations to his parents.
“Technically, he still needs to improve but he will become even better. He is the kind of player any coach wants to have in the team.”