I first came across the name Tresor Mputu in 2004 when I heard about a kid who was terrorizing African defenses while playing for TP Mazembe.
Mputu was getting to be a big name in African football and it came as no surprise when he was invited for trials by World Giants Arsenal after he caught their eye.
Thats how in 2007 at 21 years old he traveled to London for a 2 weeks training period with Arsenal in 2007.
Then Arsenal FC Coach Arsene Wenger was pretty impressed and told Sky Sports in an article dated 4th of December 2007 that he had been impressed by the Congolese.
Everyone was waiting for a deal to be done as his coach in the DR Congo Claude Le Roy had even coined him as the next Samuel Eto.
Then came the Bombshell that Mputu and TP Mazembe owner Moise Katumbi had rejected a potential deal.
While there is no official information online to why they rejected the deal word in Congolese Media was that Mputu had been offered a place as a trainee to learn the ropes at Arsenal.
This is a similar deal Arenal made with Ivorian side Asec Mimosas in 2002 where Kolo Toure joined the side as a 21 year old trainee.
Acceptance to become a trainee would have meant a significant pay cut for Mputu who was already earning a rumored $25,000 per month at TP making him one of the highest paid footballers based in Africa.
Thats how the deal fell off but others speculated that he had actually failed the trials.
Mputu would remain at TP and win two back to back CAF Champions League in 2009 and 2010 and also helped TP Mazembe become the first African Club to reach the FIFA World Club Cup Final where they lost 3-0 to Italian Giants Inter Milan.
He would also win the 2009 CHAN with DR Congo at National Team level in a tournament where he emerged as the best player.
After 10 seasons at the Congolese giants he transferred to Angolan side Kabuscorp in 2014 for a record transfer fee of $1 Million where he spent 2 seasons before returning to TP in 2016 going on to win two back to back Caf Confederations Cup titles in 2016 and 2017.
Mputu has scored 156 goals in 219 games for Mazembe and is a legend to those who follow Caf Club football with his close and how he weaves past defenders with his trickery.
By Puncherello Chama