Stuart Baxter voices support for South African strike duo Kermit Erasmus and Dino Ndlovu
Posted: 18 April 2018 Time: 19:30
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he is happy with South African striker Kermit Erasmus’s resurgence, as well as Dino Ndlovu’s progress in China.
Bafana are set to assemble for the 2018 COSAFA Cup, which will take place in Limpopo from 27 May – 9 June, with ‘fringe players likely to make up the bulk of the squad given its awkward timing.
One area of concern for the senior men’s national team has been up front, where goals have dried up in recent years.
A possible option for Baxter would be to assess players that have been stagnant at their clubs but possess international experience – such as Erasmus, who recently had his stay at Ligue 1 club Rennes terminated, prompting a move to Swedish second-tier side Eskilstuna.
Having previously coached in Sweden himself, the British tactician has voiced his approval of the former Orlando Pirates frontman’s efforts of resurrecting his career in Scandinavia.
“I think we have to be careful [with selections]… I’m happy that Kermit is back playing. I know the club, it’s one that amalgamated from two clubs and it’s well organised,” said Baxter.
“It’s also in an area that’s a strong football area [in Sweden], so I’m glad that Kermit has a platform to sort of resurrect his career because it must have been despairing at some point.”
He further noted that while Erasmus could be of value to the Bafana setup, it is still early days to invite the 27-year-old back into the national team fold.
“I think we should give him a little bit of time to get kicking off, playing and getting a few games under his belt – don’t bring him back in when he’s not ready,” Baxter warned.
“Let him get his head in order first… But I’m just glad that Kermit’s back playing.”
Meanwhile, over in China, another former junior international forward, Ndlovu has been in impressive scoring form since his move to Chinese second division club Hangzhou Greentown, having bagged seven goals in six appearances thus far.
Asked whether the 28-year-old may be an option as he continues his hunt for someone to lead the line alongside Mamelodi Sundowns star Percy Tau, Baxter believes the travelling distance could be a stumbling block, as he expresses pride in South Africa’s representation in the Far East.
“Yeah, look, I don’t think this is an event that will attract or persuade people to fly back from China – with all due respect – but I am happy to say that we have a player that is scoring goals in China, yeah,” he responded.