Off-form, injured McCarthy in limbo

WHILE he battles on a largely unimpressive in-and-out basis in the Blackburn Rovers squad, one-time South African scoring ace Benni McCarthy was linked to Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday - with some forlorn pleas that Bafana Bafana should recall him as well.

WHILE he battles on a largely unimpressive in-and-out basis in the Blackburn Rovers squad, one-time South African scoring ace Benni McCarthy was linked to Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday - with some forlorn pleas that Bafana Bafana should recall him as well.

Ironically, the 31-year-old McCarthy enjoyed a fair measure of success with both these footballing entities during his halcyon years but his performances during the new English Premier League season have provided scant evidence as to why he should be recalled by either Bafana or Ajax.

McCarthy is currently out of the Blackburn line-up with a reported ankle injury and this should be sufficient for Bafana coach Joel Santana to ignore pleas from former South African striker Phil Masinga and others to restore him to international duty for the forthcoming games against Germany and the Republic of Ireland.

Santana initially dropped McCarthy from the recent Confederations Cup after he had baulked at playing in the matches preceding the tournament for Bafana, with South Africa's top scorer's form, fitness and fortitude all wavering in the process.

Despite his decline, England's Daily Mirror carried a report on Monday that Ajax were keen to re-sign McCarthy, as well as Danny Koevermans, in a desperate bid to solve their continuing scoring problems.

It was also suggested that this was why McCarthy was currently on the sidelines at Blackburn.

But with the transfer window closing in five days, there is not much time for Ajax to conclude a deal - supposing McCarthy actually wants to return to Holland. - Sapa

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