Edon Zhegrova: The Future Of Kosovo

Edon Zhegrova may just be the most exciting player to emerge from Kosovo since its Declaration of Independence back in 2008. His spellbinding left foot and electric pace have left Belgian defences trembling since his arrival from Prishtina.

Born in Herford, North Germany to Kosovan-Albanian parents, Zhegrova returned to Kosovo after the war. Edon quickly became a part of the KF Flamurtari youth academy before a more prestigious move to Prishtina…

In 2015, the 16 year old began turning heads, not just in Kosovo, but throughout Europe. Clubs ranging from the English Championship to the heights of the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt started to show interest but it was Belgian side Standard Liège who ran out winners.

23 07 2016 xcex Deutschland Wiesbaden Frankfurt Fussball 1 Fussball Bundesliga 3 Liga Vorbere
FRIEND: Kosovan teammate Enis Bunjaki came through the Frankfurt youth academy.

After an unsuccessful time in Liège and then an hour up the road at Sint-Truidense, Genk gave the gawky looking forward a go. His ability had surpassed all seen at a youth level in Belgian football, but it was his inability to match this when training with the first team that led to his eventual departure from his previous two clubs. But when Genk came calling, he stepped it up…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7dAlIFRd9U&w=924&h=520%5D

His incredibly short backlift has been wreaking havoc in the Belgian First Division so far this season. Tie this with his ability to play on either wing and you are looking at an unpredictable, deadly forward with an eye for goal but also the quality to deliver the ball into the box. With the number eight on his back and his first full season well underway, you can see why the big European clubs are on the hunt for the 19-year-old winger…

There’s something about Kosovan wingers that is entirely different to what we usually see in Europe’s top leagues. The old-fashioned way in which they hit the byline and take on their man has left full backs all ends up. Both Edon Zhegrova and Arber Zeneli have really shown this season what they are capable of…

Given that we are likely to see these two together for the National team, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kosovo shoot up the world rankings.

PROMISE: With Zhegrova (19) and Zeneli (23) on either wing, the future of Kosovo looks in safe hands.

Two goals from three games including a winner on his debut against Madagascar has already landed Zhegrova in the hearts of Kosovans all over and if he can carry on his club form, he’ll surely be testing the pockets of big clubs all over.

With Genk seemingly through to the group stage of the Europa League (Leading Brondby 5-2 on aggregate going into the second leg), I can’t wait to see Zhegrova test himself up against some of the best football has to offer…

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