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Thu Apr 24 16:19:20 SAST 2014

Khumalo's UK nightmare

MAZOLA MOLEFE | 27 January, 2012 00:124 Comments
Bongani Khumalo (L) and Steven Pienaar of Tottenham during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge match between Kaizer Chiefs and Tottenham Hotspur at Peter Mokaba Stadium on July 16, 2011 in Polokwane
Image by: Lefty Shivmabu / Gallo Images/Getty Images

Bongani Khumalo's football adventure has become a nightmare.

The Bafana defender, who starred at the 2010 World Cup, went off to England early in that year to seek his soccer fortune - but he could return home this year with only broken dreams.

He left South Africa on transfer to English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur, who seemed keen to use his defensive qualities.

At first the future seemed rosy for Khumalo, especially when his Bafana skipper Steven Pienaar joined him at White Hart Lane in a transfer from Everton.

But when Khumalo did not measure up to Harry Redknapp's requirements, it all went awry for the South African.

He was quickly dispatched to second-tier English Championship outfit Reading to get the game time that he was missing at Spurs. A regular start in the Reading first team did not last long, and Khumalo was left to languish in the reserves.

Now he is heading back to Spurs because of the January transfer-window politics. Reading are clearing their decks for new players before the window closes on Monday, and Khumalo is surplus to requirements.

Next week Khumalo will find himself back at White Hart Lane - again warming the bench.

Khumalo had been on loan to Reading until the end of the season but since new owners took over at the Royals, the club has been eager to get rid of its deadwood, of which Khumalo appears to be part.

Reading manager Brian McDermott confirmed yesterday that Khumalo was not in his plans as the club prepares a bid for their transfer target Karleigh Osborne, also a defender, from Brentford, an English League One club.

"Bongani will go back to Spurs and we have to cover the Sean Morrison [who has gone on loan] situation until the end of the season. And that cover will be Osborne," said McDermott.

Spurs signed Khumalo in January 2010 from three-time Absa Premiership champions Supersport United. He was joined by his Pienaar a year later.

However, the former United captain struggled to break into Redknapp's team, facing tough competition from William Gallas, Matthew Dawson, Ledley King and Younes Kaboul at centre-back.

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Khumalo's UK nightmare

For Commenters Consideration | Please stick to the subject matter
Thu Apr 24 16:19:20 SAST 2014 ::


Point of correction: Khumalo will not be going back to Spurs to "warm the bench." That's an extremely optimistic reading of the situation. He's going back to watch Spurs from the stands.

Jan 29, 2012
You are so pathetic, why so negative?
i wish they cud be more specific with their critisism like Bongani cannot run fast enough, his fitness is the problem, or he's too short?? What exactly is the problem. Watching him at world cup he kept up with the international guys very well, the goals came in from his oppposite side so can we be more specific and find out what PROBLEM they have with him?? otherwise we left to think its the same old thang!! RACISM in english football which has been cropping up a lot lately!! But before we cry rascism can we pls get a more specific analysis as to what have the coaches advised is missing with the player in order for him to break into starting 11.
That's what most players, especially in PSL, complain about. Coaches don't let them know what the problem is. To be honest, i also started to think its racisim.