Kaizer Chiefs may be struggling for consistency under head coach Arthur Zwane, but Mduduzi Shabalala is slowly establishing himself as a player Amakhosi can rely on in attack for a long time to come.
Shabalala netted his second goal of the season in the 3-2 defeat to Golden Arrows at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday, playing 68 minutes before Zwane took him off for Phathutshedzo Nange. At the time, Chiefs were leading 2-1, but things changed as Arrows came from behind to secure a much-needed victory which moved them up to 10th place.
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In nine appearances, the 19-year-old has made five starts and showed promising signs in the role just behind the strikers, where he is able to make runs into the box and give options to those who create opportunities for the attacking players.
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With Nkosingiphile Ngcobo out recovering from injury, Shabalala is likely to get more opportunities in the starting line-up, but will certainly be pushing to get his first 90 minutes for the club. He is yet to play a full match, but his recent form might give him hope that it's coming soon, especially after Chiefs were no much of a threat in attack when he was taken off against Arrows.
In recent years, Amakhosi have given first team opportunities to their products. Njabulo Blom has been the star, coming through ranks before earning himself a move abroad to Major League Soccer, where he signed for St Louis City, a club coached by former Amakhosi player Bradley Carnell. The likes of Siyabonga Ngezana, Lorenzo Gordinho, Ngcobo, Wiseman Meyiwa and Happy Mashiane have come through the club's development structures in recent years.
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Wandile Duba and Samkelo Zwane are also two other players currently looking to break into the starting line-up on a regular basis.
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