Rwanda: Young Players to Watch in 2020/21 Rwanda Premier League

25 February 2021

There has been talk that Rwanda's poor performance at the international stage is partly due to the country's lack of good foundation to nurture young talented footballers.

However, clubs have been investing in young players however the crop of players is still small.

Times Sport looks at the top young players to watch in 2021 as clubs gear up to resume the 2020/21 Rwanda Premier League.

Lague Byiringiro, 20, APR FC

For those who saw him playing for the national team during the just-concluded CHAN 2020 in Cameroon, Lague Byiringiro has proved to be one of Rwanda's best strikers of his generation.

His dribbles, pace, long distance shots and vision for goal disorganised opposing sides and it was his performance that played a key role during Amavubi's group stage victory against Togo to book a ticket in the last eight of the tournament.

At just 20, Byiringiro has established himself among APR FC's top strikers and he has to convince his coach that he deserves a regular place in his team ahead of new signings Jacques Tuyisenge and Yannick Bizimana as well fellow attacker Danny Usengimana.

Anicet Ishimwe, 20, APR

Coach Adil Erradi has praised the 20-year-old striker whose performance made impact whenever he gave him a chance to play last season.

Talented and disciplined, the wonder kid's dribbles and pace have impressed the tactician and APR supporters and was once tipped to be transferred to the youth team of Belgian side Anderlect to help nurture his talent.

However, the pandemic halted his chances and he remained with the club.

Fiacre Ntwari, 21, Marines

The goalie, who is on loan from APR FC, was in fine form between the sticks of Marines before the Rwanda Premier League was postponed in December.

Ntwari is a product of APR's football academy which he joined in 2015 at the age of 16. His vision and timing while making crucial saves made his parent club hope to soon get a new replacement for Jean Claude Ndori when he got promoted to the first team in 2018.

Ntwari was loaned to Marines in August last year to help him get more first team football in a top flight team.

Moise Nyarugabo, 19, Mukura

Nyarugabo is one of the youngsters that impressed during the 2018 U-17 CECAFA Challenge in Tanzania after his four goals, including a brace against Burundi, inspired Rwanda to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Released by Isonga FC after the academy closed operations in 2019, Nyarugabo spent a season with Heroes FC during last year's league campaign.

His composure, dribbles and pace showed what an incredible football talent he is but unfortunately his club-Heroes was relegated.

Mukura, which had been monitoring the youngster's development signed him during last year's summer transfer market.

Although the Huye-based club struggled at the start of the 2020/21 league season, Nyarugabo proved to be a player who can turn defenders inside out.

Keddy Nsanzimfura, midfielder, APR FC

To be a first team player in a big and demanding club like APR FC at the age of 17 is not something that comes easily. You work for it and that is what wonder kid Keddy Nsanzimfura is doing at the army side.

A product of Kiyovu SC youth team, the 17-year-old midfielder is establishing himself as a key player for Adil Mohammed Erradi's side in the few games he has played since he joined the reigning league champions after a brilliant performance in his parent club SC Kiyovu last season.

Blaise Nishimwe, Midfielder, Rayon Sport

Nishimwe is a son of Rayon Sports legend Jean de Dieu Mateso and was one of the key players that the Blues want to build the team around. He joined from Marines in the last transfer window.

The midfielder signed a three-year contract with the Blues in June last year with the hope to fill the void left by Ally Niyonzima, who joined Yanga Africans and Kakule Mugheni Fabrice who signed for Kenyan side AFC Leopard in October last year.

His leadership, passing and confidence with the ball are some of the reasons that pushed Rayon Sports to sign him.

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