Molefi Ntseki hopes to persuade highly-rated England-born winger to play for Bafana

Tom Barkhuizen of Preston North End during the English Championship match between Preston North End and Barnsley at Deepdale in Preston, England.
Tom Barkhuizen of Preston North End during the English Championship match between Preston North End and Barnsley at Deepdale in Preston, England.
Image: Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Molefi Ntseki hopes to persuade highly-rated England-based winger Tom Barkhuizen to play for Bafana Bafana and the SA coach is meeting the player and his parents to discuss the proposal.

The 26-year-old Barkhuizen‚ who was born in Blackpool and has set the English Championship alight with impressive performances in Preston North End colours this season‚ qualifies to play for Bafana through his grandfather's South African links.

“We have a concern with the strikers‚ so I will use this break to go to England to speak to Tom Barkhuizen‚ his club and his family.

"We are happy with his profiling and we want to see if he can get a SA passport and be able to come in.”

The winger has contributed 5 goals and provided 4 assists from 14 matches in the English Championship. He has 2 goals in 3 matches in the EFL Cup where they were knocked out in the third round by Manchester City.

Bafana once again misfired in front of goal to narrowly beat Sudan 1-0 in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Orlando Stadium.

Ntseki is desperate to find a solution to the impotency before Bafana resume their schedule next year.

“We had a technical meeting where we discussed the team and (player) profiling‚" he said.

"And part of the things that we discussed were that we need to have players who can come to the team and help the current players.

“In the attacking force we have Bradley Grobler who is scoring for SuperSport United and we need to get somebody else.

"In the midfield‚ you look at Kamo (Mokotjo) and Dean (Furman). They are two of the choices in the team‚ so let’s go and profile maybe two players who can come in.

"We know that in the Under-23s we have Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule‚ and we have Athenkosi Dlala who is playing in the First Division.

"We need to look at such positions.

“In the PSL we are looking for natural defensive midfielders and we are profiling all the clubs - we are struggling to find those natural defensive midfielders.

"Kamo at his club plays as a number eight and he is not a defensive midfielder.

"There are times when you need a defensive midfielder to close the game down.”

Ntseki lamented the litany of missed opportunities against Sudan and said he has little time to work on individual players at national team level.

“When it comes to the national team‚ you don’t have time to work on individual players‚ especially when it comes to technical aspects of the game‚" he said.

"Coming into this game‚ we had two sessions before the match against Ghana. We had one session before this match against Sudan.

“It takes a lot of energy to get into those scoring areas and getting into those areas of creativity.

"Unfortunately for us‚ we managed to get behind their defence more often but missing a chance is not only about a situation that prevents you from scoring but I think it is more mental.

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