City recently completed the signing of Links for a club-record fee on a five-year deal from Egyptian Premier League side Pyramids FC – formerly known as Al Assiouty.
The 19-year-old’s return to South Africa, after just six months since his move from Platinum Stars in January, was prompted by the club’s sale in May to a Saudi billionaire, who has since poured millions of dollars into recruiting new players and backroom staff.
Links also made his international debut during the recent COSAFA Cup, at which Bafana were crowned plate champions, as he showed glimpses of his true potential.
The winger's arrival in the Mother City ahead of the 2018/19 season has since been trumpeted by McCarthy, who has backed the teenager to become a “superstar” and help the national team reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“We’ve recruited a very good, young future South African superstar, I think,” McCarthy said of Links in the build-up to this weekend’s Mpumalanga Cultural Experience Cup featuring Kaizer Chiefs.
“For a South African talented boy to have gone to play his football in Egypt at such a young age, you have to commend the boy for trying overseas there. He’s now come back and we think he can add value to our squad.
“He’s only 19-years-old but he’s a very big prospect, who, with time and being explored in the right way, can grow not just for Cape Town City but for Bafana Bafana and South African football as a whole.
“He can help us to start preparing and qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup that’s going to be hosted in Qatar, so I think he’s a player for the future.”
Links managed 13 appearances for his former club after immediately breaking into the first team following his arrival, while his time with Dikwena yielded just one outing in November last year.