Chipolopolo's new breed making their mark in Europe

Patson Daka of Zambia EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

Zambia international Emmanuel Banda scored his first goal in the Belgian top flight as KV Oostende beat Waasland Beveren 3-1 on Friday to add his name to a growing band of Chipolopolo stars who have been impressing in Europe this term.

Banda, who joined Oostende in June, has just regained full fitness after an injury-ravaged start to life in Belgium, and netted his team's second soon after the break from an assist by Knowledge Musona. The Zimbabwe skipper had opened the scoring himself on the quarter-hour.

It was only the sixth appearance in all competitions for the former Zambia U-20 star, who should now expect more action after the winter break.

Elsewhere, Evans Kangwa has shaken off a slow start in the Russia Premier League to establish himself as a regular at Arsenal Tula. Kangwa has started seven of the team's last nine matches, scoring twice.

While both Kangwa's goals came in matches where he was deployed as a central striker, he has largely been restricted to the left of the Arsenal midfield. The 25-year-old is looking to be recalled into the Chipolopolo fold after being overlooked in recent months.

Arsenal are also home to another Chipolopolo star, Stoppila Sunzu, who has been a key figure in the heart of the team's defence with 19 appearances and one goal.

It has been a fruitful spell too for another Russia-based Zambia star, Fashion Sakala, who has scored eight goals and provided another two in 19 appearances for Spartak Moscow.

Sakala made his name in Zambia as a speedy winger, but he has featured mostly as a centre-forward for Spartak's developmental side.

Two other Zambia starlets have been making steady progress in Austria, with exciting midfielder Enoch Mwepu scoring six goals and laying on a further four in 18 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg's feeder club FC Liefering in the second tier.

Mwepu, a full Chipolopolo international at 19, has also played once for Salzburg in the Austrian Bundersliga.

Compatriot Patson Daka, meanwhile, boasts five appearances for the Salzburg senior team but it is with the development side that he has made the most impact with three goals and four assists in 11 matches.

Daka is perhaps the most promising of Zambia's emerging stars, and already boasts 15 senior caps and two goals to his name.

He also scored five goals in 11 appearances for the trailblazing U-20 and is on CAF's three-man shortlist for the 2017 Young Player of the Year award.