Samir Nurkovic's role as a wide-target man under Stuart Baxter has been questioned of late but the Kaizer Chiefs head coach has revealed how it benefits the team.
Nurkovic enjoyed an incredible debut season with Amakhosi that elevated his status to a firm fan favourite with 13 goals in 26 league outings as they finished second.
But with only three in 21 games last season and none so far in four games in the 2021/22 campaign thus far, questions have been raised about the suitability of his role in the new-look squad.
Baxter has pushed him out wide left with Khama Billiat up-front while marquee off-season signing Keagan Dolly occupies his preferred right-wing role which the coach feels strikes a balance in his tactical set-up.
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"If you want Samir to join into the short passing game and have an immediate first-touch the way that Khama and Keagan [have], I doubt it but what Samir does give us is a very good foil for those two short players," Baxter explained.
"For example, if we use Khama as the nine and at times as a false nine position, Samir, in the position that he has, becomes the number nine, which is why you got him so many times in goal scoring positions.
"So I think Samir from that position is a good compliment to them and that's why I'm disappointed that none of them scored."
The 29-year-old striker has scored 20 goals and registered 10 assists in 67 games across all competitions since his arrival from KFC Komarno in July 2019.