KAIZER Chiefs’ new midfielder, Phathutshedzo Nange, has caught the eye with his stellar performances since joining the club.
Nange had to wait for his dream of donning the famous gold and black of Amakhosi to become a reality.
This is because the club had to serve a two-window Fifa transfer ban, which barred them from registering any new players for the entire last season.
Nange was poised to join Amakhosi last term, but the ban meant he had to find a temporary home before he could finally make his dream move.
The Limpopo-born star opted to spend the 2020-21 season at Stellenbosch FC, where he felt he would flourish.
Nange made 23 appearances in the DStv Premiership for Steve Barker’s Stellies last season – scoring four goals and providing three assists.
Ironically, one of Nange’s four goals last season came against Chiefs, and his celebration was understandably muted.
This season, Nange seems to have already cemented his place in coach Stuart Baxter’s starting team.
He has featured in all three of Chiefs’ competitive matches so far, and appears to be building a solid midfield partnership with fellow newcomer Cole Alexander.
Nange’s former coach at Stellies, Barker, is not surprised by the ease with which the 29-year-old has slotted into the Chiefs team.
“I think Nange will have a great season at Chiefs,” said Barker.
“I think Chiefs are more suited for the way that he plays. I think he will flourish.
“The type of team that they have will suit him very well.
“For us, it wasn’t always easy for him to fit in.
“But having said that, he did score five goals in all competitions for us which was the highest in his career, so he hasn’t been easy to replace.
“We feel we are covered with the players we have but it’s never easy replacing five goals in a season from midfield. It will be a tough one.”
Barker said that he could have used Nange more had he signed for the club permanently.
“The only reason we decided to use him somewhat sparingly, was because it was common knowledge that he would be joining Chiefs. It’s never easy when a player joins in that situation,” added Barker.
“It was common knowledge that he was only there for the season and would be moving on to Chiefs. And sometimes in our situation when you’re fighting for your life, you need a different type of player than a team that has more control of possession would need.”