One of Kaizer Chiefs’ academy graduates in recent years, Njabulo Blom, was recently snapped up by MLS outfit St Louis City SC.
The Dobsonville-born star, who made his senior team debut at 19, had risen to become a vital cog for Kaizer Chiefs.
His versatility saw him feature at right back and as the midfield destroyer under coach Arthur Zwane.
Blom’s departure leaves a gaping hole in Amakhosi’s rebuilding exercise.
SAMKELO ZWANE NOT FIT ENOUGH TO REPLACE NJABULO BLOM
While coach Arthur Zwane has cast a relaxed figure, showing faith in Samkelo Zwane, the 20-year-old is a different profile of a midfielder.
Blom was a typical midfield destroyer – breaking up play and putting in challenges before the opposition advance to the defensive line – Zwane seems more of a playmaker.
Judging from his few appearances on the senior team, his strengths are collecting and distributing.
One would argue that against Golden Arrows, his pedigree as a central defensive midfielder was not tested.
Sooner or later, the Chiefs faithful will realise Blom was a rare enforcer with the ability to venture forward.
On the other hand, young Zwane may not readily offer the much-needed structural stability allowing Yusuf Maart the luxury of venturing forward to aid the attack.
Chiefs need a proper central defensive midfielder who can break down opposition attacks and make his teammates play while freeing those in front of him.
FARPost looked at three midfielders who could easily do that as Arthur Zwane rebuilds.
Andile Jali would not be fazed by playing in front of the demanding fans of Amakhosi. He has done it for Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns and understands the pressure of playing at that level.
He plays the role quite well and is one of the most respected midfielders in the country.
Additionally, he has the arrogance and elegance fitting for a Glamour Boy.
Jali has entered the last six months of his contract with Sundowns and is free to sign a pre-contract.
With a bit of a push and intent, a deal could be concluded this January.
In any case, Sundowns have the luxury of Bongani Zungu, Teboho Mokoena and Mothobi Mvala in that position.
32-year-old Jali could play mentor to Samkelo Zwane and the other young midfielders at Chiefs. He does have two good seasons at the highest level in him.
The former Bafana Bafana international is one of the smoothest operators in that position.
He would bring his European experience, having played for several clubs overseas.
The SuperSport United prodigy has played for Feyenoord, Excelsior, PEC Zwolle, Twente [all in the Netherlands], Brentford in England and FC Cincinnati in the United States.
Mokotjo parted ways with FC Cincinnati earlier this year and is currently without a club.
Returning home at 32 [in March] to play for one of the country’s biggest clubs may be a good proposition after all.
Again, Samkelo Zwane, Sabelo Radebe and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo could all benefit from his expertise.
The 23-year-old SuperSport United midfielder is the least likely of the trio. However, he has gained much-needed experience after five seasons at Matsatsantsa. Of course, he would not come cheap.