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Steven Pienaar sees big futures for Dolly and Zungu

23 June 2017 - 10:43 By Marc Strydom
Steven Pienaar.
Steven Pienaar.

Steven Pienaar foresees big futures for emerging Bafana Bafana stars Keagan Dolly and Bongani Zungu‚ and says watch out too for Ayanda Patosi.

Parallels have been drawn between Pienaar and Dolly. They are both from Westbury in Johannesburg‚ and both products of Safa’s School of Excellence and Ajax Cape Town’as youth system‚ where they both began their professional club careers.

Pienaar – arguably the last of South Africa’s big football exports in a line from Lucas Radebe through Sibusiso Zuma‚ Quinton Fortune and Benni McCarthy – believes Dolly has the potential to surpass his own career.

Dolly made a successful move to Montpellier in France’s Ligue 1 in January having won the Caf Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns in October.

“He’s obviously talented. When people asked me a few years ago‚ ‘Which player do you think will come out of South Africa who you think will make it big?’‚ I said‚ ‘Keagan Dolly’. Because I’ve seen him play and I know the kind of person he is’‚” Pienaar told TimesLIVE.

“So I’m happy for him and I believe he can achieve better things than me.”

Pienaar‚ 35 is currently in South Africa contemplating his next move‚ with his one-year contract with Sunderland completing this month.

The ex-Ajax Amsterdam‚ Borussia Dortmund and Everton star‚ with 61 caps for Bafana Bafana‚ was impressed with what he saw of Dolly and Zungu as South Africa beat Nigeria 2-0 in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win in Uyo on June 10.

Dolly had a quiet game but still laid on the world-class pass out of defence that set up Percy Tau’s second goal.

Zungu was pure class in central midfield alongside Dean Furman‚ showing his improvement technically‚ tactically and in speed of thinking since a move from Sundowns to Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes a year ago.

“You can see the difference in him from playing in South Africa to playing in Europe‚” Pienaar said.

“If players go that side and play regularly they can make a big difference to the national team.

“It’s just unfortunate Patosi wasn’t in the team‚ because what a talent he is as well. He’s going to be a big hit.”

Patosi is set to take the PSL by storm after signing for Cape Town City this month from Lokeren in Belgium.

- TimesLIVE