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Mahlambi quietly returns home to SA after trials at Vitoria Guimaraes proved unconvincing

By Mark Gleeson | 2017-08-30 15:12:47.0

Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 19 April 2017 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Bidvest Wits starlet Phakamani Mahlambi has quietly returned home over the last week after trials at Vitoria Guimaraes proved unconvincing and will likely be back in Gavin Hunt’s squad for the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal.

The teenager had gone over to the Portuguese club for a two-week assessment but Wits have been told he needs more time to develop with Guimaraes not interested in any immediate deal.

It could prove a fillip for Wits who had been resigned to losing the player to an overseas club.

The 19-year-old Mahlambi is likely now to form part of the Wits squad‚ at least until the January transfer window‚ which will be a boost after a poor start to the season for the new league champions.

Wits’ next game is the second leg of their MTN8 semifinal against Cape Town City‚ where they trail by a goal from the first keg‚ at the Bidvest Stadium on Sunday‚ September 10.

Just over a year ago‚ Mahlambi was the hottest property in South African sport with lucrative offers on the table from the likes of Benfica and Fenerbahce.

But a serious knee injury kept him out of the game for almost a year and although since his comeback in January‚ he has played for Bafana Bafana‚ he has lost some of his exciting edge.

Wits chief executive officer Jose Ferreira last month said he had also talked to English premier league club Bournemouth about the player and that there was interest from Crystal Palace.

But with the transfer window closing on Thursday‚ any potential move to England is no longer going to happen. - SowetanLIVE