by Tom Lees - 1st December 2015
In February 2015 it was announced by Odense Boldklub that they had just signed the unemployed Danish Under-21 International Kenneth Zohorè. This may have gone under the radar of the majority of football fans, but this could be a key date in the revival of a goal scorer who was in danger of falling into obscurity.
Zohorè was born into a footballing family, his father being the second cousin to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. This, combined with his strong build, earnt him the unoriginal moniker of ‘The Danish Drogba’. In reality though he can best be compared with a young John Carew, although still a large comparison to live up to.
Beginning his professional career at FC Copenhagen, he quickly made a name for himself, on March 7th 2010 Zohorè became the youngest player to make their debut in the Danish Superliga, at the age of only 16 years and 35 days. In October of the same year he would score first professional goal against Lyngby Boldklub, making him the second youngest goal scorer in Danish Superliga history.
After this impressive start to his very young career, which included Champions League appearances, again aged 16, against European giants Barcelona and Chelsea, it wasn’t long before he attracted the attention of clubs from stronger leagues. Fiorentina won the battle for his signature, and he joined on 31st January 2012.
However the move to Serie A was not a success, spending his time playing for the Primavera, Kenneth never officially made his debut for the first team. He was still a part of the youth scene at International level however, being called up to the Danish Under-21 setup, scoring two goals on his debut against Andorra in September 2013.
In an attempt to gain more first team football Zohorè found himself out on loan at Brøndby IF and IFK Göteborg in the coming seasons, although his goal scoring ratio at Brøndby was at a high level, most of his appearances came from the substitutes bench, while injury and loss of form at Göteborg limited his game time, it seemed his career wasn’t going to live up to early expectations. To make matters worse, Zohorè was no longer featuring as regularly for the Danish Under-21 side, finding himself on the bench more often than not.
He was released by Fiorentina in early 2015, and returned to Denmark, joining struggling Superliga side Odense (OB). This return to Denmark and an indifferent start to this career there, scoring only 2 goals in the finals months of the season, raised questions as to where his career was going. However, after a pre-season break, Zohorè would find a much needed return to form as the 2015/16 season got underway.
After a few early season substitute appearances, his form forced him into a regular starting role for Odense, averaging around a goal every other game for a mid-table side, his return to the National Under-21 team soon followed, and a goal against Romania cemented his return to form.
So what does the future now hold for Kenneth Zohorè? Well as form has returned, so have the transfer rumours surrounding him. His style is tailor made for English football and if he were to leave Denmark, that could be the ideal destination for him to grow. Also with Denmark having failed to qualify for the European Championships, an opportunity could present itself in a search for a young forward to partner Viktor Fischer long term.
It will be an interesting watch over the next 12 months in regards to Zohorè, experience has been gained, disappointment has been overcome and the future could be his again, only time will tell.