Six things Newcastle United fans should know about Matthew Rusike

St James Park

With Steve McClaren reportedly considering a move for the Zimbabwe international, here are a few things Newcastle United fans should probably know.

Newcastle United's search for goal-scoring reinforcements could see the Magpies turn to an unusual transfer target if reports are to be believed.

Talksport has claimed that the Toon are weighing up a move for Halmstads striker Matthew Rusike.

The Zimbabwe international only signed for the Swedish club back at the start of 2015 but is once again available after Halmstads suffered relegation this term.

So what do Newcastle fans need to know about their reported target? Here are six facts.

1. He almost started his career in England

Despite his African roots, Rusike actually came close to forging a career in England at the tender age of 16.

On the books at Charlton Athletic for some three years, the striker ultimately failed to make the grade because of non-football reasons.

“I went to try it out but couldn’t stay because of work permit issues,” he told New Zealand publication The Standard.

“I decided to come back and I played in the Zimbabwean local league for Monomotapa and we actually won the league in my first year there.”

Moves to Jomo Cosmos and Kaiser Chiefs followed before Rusike headed to Sweden earlier this year.

2. He could have made it as a rugby player

Despite impressing as a footballer, Rusike also considered forging a career in his other sport love: rugby.

“I went to St Georges College, which is a rugby school. Rugby was the main thing and all my mates played rugby, so they were always in the gym and I was there with them,” he told Chiefs official magazine, Amakhosi in quotes republished in The Standard.

“Yeah I played a bit of rugby but obviously I had to choose between football and rugby. I played as a wing or full back.”

3. He was once linked to former Premier League club

Prior to sealing a move to Kaiser Chiefs – one of the biggest clubs in South Africa – Rusike was reportedly attracting interest from a former Premier League club currently residing in the Championship.

Bolton were reportedly weighing up a move for the forward, with similar interest reported in Belgium and France. Ultimately nothing came of it though, with Wanderers relegated to the second-tier around the same time.

4. He's got special memories from his time in South Africa

Given that his mother is South African and his father Zimbabwean, playing for Kaiser Chiefs represented a major honour for the blossoming forward.

His finest hour came in April 2015, when Rusike netted a match-winning brace in a 4-1 victory over Polokwane City that secured the Absa Premiership for the Chiefs.

He later left the pitch to a standing ovation in what is likely to rank among his major career highlights to date.

5. He's a proud Zimbabwean

Rusike has something of a soft spot for the underdogs, having chosen to represent Zimbabwe rather that South Africa despite the fact he could have chosen either team.

“I chose Zimbabwe purely because I was brought up there. We might not have the infrastructure, but felt I had to be patriotic,” he told The Standard.

6. He loves Kanye West

A look at Rusike's Twitter account reveals that the 25-year-old is quite the Kanye West fan.

He not only tweets such things as this:

But also retweets messages from the man himself:

Perhaps Newcastle fans can create some kind of chant based around one of his many hits? Then again, maybe not.

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