Kaizer Chiefs Midfielder Samkelo Zwane: A Future Star in the Making?
Kaizer Chiefs Head Coach Arthur Zwane has expressed his belief that 21-year-old midfielder Samkelo Zwane has a bright future ahead of him, despite lacking some of the traditional defensive aspects of a typical number six. Zwane, a product of the Chiefs youth academy and son of former Orlando Pirates player Eugene Zwane, has impressed during a difficult season for the club.
Chiefs have struggled to find a consistent midfield pairing this season, with the likes of Willard Katsande and Tinashe Nengomasha having occupied the defensive midfield role in the past. Zwane’s fellow academy product Njabulo Blom showed promise but his contractual issues led him to an exit to MLS side St Louis City in January.
Zwane was given his chance on New Year’s Eve against Golden Arrows and has since shown glimpses of his potential, earning a Man of the Match award against Stellenbosch two weeks ago. According to Zwane, Samkelo possesses a rare quality that sets him apart from other players in South Africa.
Zwane commended Samkelo’s technical ability and execution, noting that his ability to pinpoint 40-meter passes and take risks at the back to unlock opposition defenses was a rare trait among defensive midfielders in South Africa. While defensive midfielders typically keep it simple and avoid losing the ball in critical areas of the field, Samkelo has shown a willingness to take risks and be creative.
However, Zwane admitted that Samkelo still lacks some of the defensive aspects needed to play in the number six role. While he has the potential to hurt opponents with his passing, he needs to improve his defensive abilities to help the team in that regard.
Chiefs had initially been looking towards experienced players like Cole Alexander and Phathutshedzo Nange to fill the gap left by Blom’s departure. However, injuries and personal issues meant that the club had to rely on younger players like Samkelo to step up and make a name for themselves.
Despite the challenges faced by the team this season, Zwane is confident that Samkelo has what it takes to become a star player for the club. With time and the right coaching, Samkelo could become a key player in Chiefs’ midfield for years to come.