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Kabongo Tshimanga: Non-League football’s next Jamie Vardy?


Over the past few seasons, Kabongo Tshimanga has been one of the brightest prospects in Non-League football and it can only be a matter of time before he’s playing at a higher level.

Having come through the Milton Keynes Dons academy, the Congo-born striker spent 12 years with the south east club before being released after a series of underwhelming loan spells.

In many ways, the 23-year-old’s departure from the Dons has proved to be the making of him. So, let’s take a look at whether the Boreham Wood striker could be the next breakthrough star of Non-League football.

A young forward with time to develop

Throughout his professional career, Tshimanga has thus far been unable to find a club willing to offer him a long-term future. After leaving MK Dons, the striker signed one-year deals with both Boston United and Oxford City before making the switch to National League side Boreham Wood in July 2019. However, despite this, the 23-year-old has been in ruthless form in front of goal.

According to Soccer Base, after joining Oxford City, he scored 24 league goals for the National League South team. Moreover, it’s clear why there was interest in the England C forward, who found the net on 37 occasions in all competitions in 2018-19. Interestingly, despite an offer to become the club’s highest-paid player, Tshimanga rejected City’s terms to sign a contract that could keep him at Boreham Wood for three years, according to Oxford Mail.

Regarding his playing style, the striker known as Kabby is an out-and-out forward. According to statistics from Transfermarkt, Tshimanga has played 48 games as a central striker, scoring 23 goals and providing two assists. Although he still has time on his side to add more versatility to his game, the Congo-born striker will likely continue to lead the line throughout the remainder of his career because of his ruthless nature.

It’s a cliche, but scoring goals is the most difficult job in football

Understandably, whenever there’s an up-and-coming non-league prospect catching the eye, particularly an attacker, comparisons are made to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. The 33-year-old Premier League-winning attacker played Non-League football for Stocksbridge Park Steels, FC Halifax Town, and Fleetwood town before moving to the Foxes in May 2012.

Since making a name for himself outside of the Football League, Vardy has gone on to have a successful top-flight career. Aside from winning the Premier League in 2015-16, the Sheffield-born striker has recently joined the 100-goal club in the top division and is 12/1 with football betting to win the Golden Boot in 2020-21, as of September 21st.

While, of course, there are no guarantees that Tshimanga will enjoy a career as illustrious as Vardy, his ability to score goals will make him an enticing option for many Football League sides, should he continue his fine form for Boreham Wood. Having already caught the eye of both Huddersfield and Preston, there’s a pathway for the 23-year-old to make his way through the leagues if he can sustain his recent goalscoring tally.

The 2020-21 season will be pivotal to Tshimanga’s future

Ultimately, few can argue that the Boreham Wood striker doesn’t have the much-needed cutting edge in front of goal. However, he’s now tasked with showing that he can consistently deliver. Having recorded emphatic goalscoring figures over the last few seasons, expectations are now higher than ever before. That said, should he surpass the 20-goal mark in 2020-21, then a Football League move could be on the horizon.

This article was brought to you by The Non-League Paper, the UK's best-selling football title on the newsstand, on-sale every Sunday.
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