Samatta: Tanzania forward returns to Fenerbahce after Royal Antwerp loan spell

The 23-year-old Taifa Star has explained his next move ahead of the new season after featuring for the Great Old in the past campaign

Tanzania international Mbwana Samatta has confirmed he will return to Turkish side Fenerbahce after ending his loan spell with Royal Antwerp in Belgium.

The 23-year-old Taifa Stars captain moved to the Great Old on a one-year loan deal at the start of last season, and though the Belgian side had an option to make the move permanent, they have opted against it.

Samatta has now revealed his next move ahead of the new campaign.

“About my next move?… for now, I am heading back to Fenerbahce, I will return to Fenerbahce,” Samatta told GOAL when asked about his future following the expiry of his loan deal in Belgium.

Pressed further to explain if he will be loaned out again by the Turkish outfit, Samatta said: “I don’t know about the future, no one knows about the future but what I know is I am heading back to Fenerbahce for pre-season training and get ready for the new season.”

On January 20, 2020, Samatta signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Premier League club Aston Villa, becoming the first Tanzanian to sign for a Premier League club and was the 117th different nationality to play in the competition.

He scored his debut goal for Villa in a 2-1 defeat against Bournemouth on February 1, 2020, and on September 25, 2020, he joined Fenerbahce on an initial loan deal until the end of the season.

As part of the deal, Samatta signed a four-year contract at the end of his loan spell in July 2021. However, he was loaned out to Antwerp on a season-long loan on September 1, 2021, after failing to rediscover his scoring form at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

At Antwerp, he scored his first goal on November 21 when they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Sint-Truide at Stadion Stayen before he scored his second in the 4-2 win against Eupen on December 16 at Bosuilstadion.

Samatta ended up scoring five top-flight goals for Antwerp after making 32 appearances. He was part of the Tanzania squad that took part in the recent 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches where they played against Niger and Algeria.

The Taifa Stars drew 1-1 against Le Mena in their Group F opener at Stade de l’Amitie before losing 2-0 against the former African champions at Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

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