WATCH | Chiefs midfielder Njabulo Blom secures move to St Louis City in the US
Kaizer Chiefs have announced midfielder Njabulo Blom is moving to US Major League Soccer team St Louis City SC which is coached by former Bafana Bafana defender Bradley Carnell.
Amakhosi said that Blom, who has been a subject of deadlocked contract negotiations over the past few months, will be released with immediate effect to start his career in the new year.
“It’s a bittersweet departure because I think it’s no secret to the Amakhosi faithful how highly we value Njabulo Blom. He is the epitome of what our academy has been able to produce over the last couple of years,” said Chiefs sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jr.
“This is part of the plan for us to unearth talent of international standard. More so, we want to ensure that we produce talent that can go out to explore opportunities abroad. From a personal point of view, it’s great to see a young man who grew up in the system now being afforded the opportunity to expand his horizons,” he added.
Blom started his career at the club’s youth development and made his debut for the senior team on October 1 2019 at the age of 19.
He represented South Africa at the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup and the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 before making his senior debut for Bafana Bafana on September 6 2021 in a World Cup qualifier against Ghana in a 1—0 home win.
“It’s a great story given our past historical link with US football ... Dr Kaizer Motaung, our executive chairman, having played for Atlanta Chiefs and being named Rookie-of-the-Year in the NASL, opening that territory for us, and the inspiration he got from the American League to come back and form our team here,” Kaizer Jr said.
Blom was identified by current coach Arthur Zwane who was then the reserve team coach while playing in the Soweto local leagues.
“This one was a while in the making. I feel it’s a great time for Njabulo to go and exercise the next phase of his life. The opportunity came about, and it has been months in the works now, sorting out the nitty gritty of the deal.
“I think there was a bit of a divine touch because we were fortunate to interact with a great sporting director on that side, Lutz Pfannenstiel, who was formerly at Hoffenheim.
“He had the foresight to bring in Bradley Carnell as head coach for his St Louis team, and having a former Kaizer Chiefs player who is a great coach in his own right after spending time at Leipzig, things fell into place very well and very timeously.
“We are very happy and excited to be part of Blom’s journey. I want to congratulate Blom on his achievement and wish him the best for the future.”
Kaizer Jr was quick to allay fears that Blom’s departure will have a negative impact on the team.
“We have many plans about that. As I have said before, we are trying to build a young, dynamic squad with the right mix of youth and top-quality experience. We are already working on our squad audit and the areas we feel we need to beef up. Opportunities arise when someone leaves, it opens the door for someone else to put their hand up and start their own journey.
“So, we are well aware and we have long prepared for this eventuality, and someone else now has a chance to stake a claim for a place in the team. Obviously, much thought went into this and we are feeling very positive about the way forward.”
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