Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has opened up on the return of academy graduate Njabulo Blom to the starting line-up amid talks that he could leave the club.

As previously reported by SABC Sport, Blom and Chiefs are currently at an impasse over the extension of his current contract, which is set to expire at the end of June 2023.

The 22-year-old was promoted to the senior team in 2019 and had established himself as a key individual in the past two seasons under Gavin Hunt, Stuart Baxter, and more recently Arthur Zwane, and missed only five of the club’s 81 matches over the preceding 24 months.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has opened up on the return of academy graduate Njabulo Blom to the starting line-up amid talks that he could leave the club.

Njabulo Blom and Grant Margeman

However, the parties can’t seem to reach an agreement over his valuation and package demands, with his agent having told Sport Nights Amplified with Andile, “What he has asked for is less than what player X is earning.

“He earns significantly less than what most players in Kaizer Chiefs starting line-up earn.

“Now, this is about the next contract, what is fair and reasonable for what his current standing is and his future potential. By my thinking, that is not unreasonable.”

Having sat out of two matches after the news of the impasse broke, he returned for a cameo appearance in the 1-1 draw with Marumo Gallants but impressed with a 90-minute shift on his return to the starting line-up against SuperSport United at the weekend.

“There is no doubt, Njabulo is a talented player. He’s a workhorse in the midfield and whenever he is ready, we will always give him the opportunity,” assured Zwane.

“But, like I said, there is competition for places – we had Yusuf [Maart] doing very well and [Siyethemba] Sithebe doing well as well. For [the SuperSport] game, we thought we needed someone like Njabulo.

“So, in another game, one of the three might sit on the bench and we might need a more offensive player.

“In that game, we knew it was going to be a battle in the midfield and we needed to win, and we needed stability to make sure we win that battle while still being able to play out of tight situations.

“I think he did extremely well, and not only him but Yusuf and Sithebe as well, but you could see towards the end of the game – the last 20 minutes, Sithebe ran out of gas and we had to substitute him.

“So, there’s competition for places and we will give every individual that deserves to play [a chance] because we play the way we train.

“But I’m happy for him, for the fact that he performed very well.”

Should an agreement not be reached by January, Blom will be free to sign a pre-contract with the club of his choice.


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