Bafana Bafana hopeful Tom Barkhuizen is reportedly being monitored by a 2019/20 UEFA Champions League side after a blistering start to the new season.
Last month, Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki confirmed the Preston North End forward is on the radar of the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Ntseki claimed he’s been ‘tracking’ him but remained cautious over the idea of how a player born outside the country would fit into the current set-up.
“When dealing with players who did not grow up in South Africa‚ you need to be careful on how you integrate them into the system,” Ntseki said.
“If he is interested to play for Bafana‚ we will have to see how we facilitate the necessary logistics because he is a good player.”
Since making the statement, it’s going to be challenging to ignore the call-up, with his sublime form firing Preston to second in the SkyBet Championship and interest in his services, are beginning to emerge.
According to respected UK journalist Alan Nixon, Bayern Leverkusen scout Matthias Wallenwein has been at Deepdale to monitor his incredible progression.
Deepdale Digest has too picked up on the reports claiming the finishing ability of the 26-year-old is likely to have attracted the club currently in the UEFA Champions League group stages.
“Possibly in line for a South Africa call-up, Barkhuizen has come a long way since joining from Morecambe in January 2017,” the publication stated.
“His blistering pace has caused problems for many Championship defenders, and he’s actually one of the best finishers at the club too.”
How good has Barkhuizen been this season?
In one of the most demanding leagues in world football, with the riches of the Premier League at stake – the player who qualifies for South Africa through his grandparents has been one of the leading lights for the modest club.
His three goals in two league games last week took his overall tally to seven in 13 starts across all competitions – and his matchwinner against Blackburn, in particular, drew widespread plaudits.
Comfortable on each flank and up-front with searing pace, it appears that Barkhuizen is a name that will become more familiar to South African football as the season progresses.