Zuma plugs Shabba hole at Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has heaped praise on versatile attacking midfielder Dumisani Zuma.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has heaped praise on versatile attacking midfielder Dumisani Zuma.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/ BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas is getting on with life without Siphiwe Tshabalala, even though he described the player's departure to Turkish outfit Erzurumspor as a massive blow to the team.

Solinas said he's found solace in the fact that he has players like Philani Zulu and "the dynamic" Dumisani Zuma to plug the hole left by Shabba.

"Shabba is a big loss because he is a legend at Chiefs," said Solinas in an exclusive interview with Sowetan's sister publication, Sunday Times.

"Shabba made history in Kaizer Chiefs' colours.

"But when a guy like Shabba comes and says I have this opportunity, it is a dream we must all help him to fulfil.

"We support this opportunity and we wish Shabba all the best because we are very happy when Shabba is happy."

Tshabalala, 34, left Chiefs at the beginning of September after spending 12 years at the club, playing 372 games and scoring 58 goals. Solinas said converting Zulu from left back to left winger is one of the options he can use to deal with Tshabalala's unexpected move.

"Zulu has already scored two goals in his new position as a winger and should score more because that's where he's told me he feels comfortable playing," said Solinas.

"Having Shabba guiding the young guys like Zulu would have been nice, but I feel we are covered in that area for now."

Solinas also spoke of Zuma as a player who will ensure Tshabalala's position is well-
covered. Zuma is a right winger but such is his energy and quality that he can play on the left and also as a supporting striker.

"Zuma is a versatile player who plays in almost every attacking position in the midfield. He's already showed this season how eager he is to help his teammates on the field."

After a bad start to the league, in which Chiefs only earned four points from five matches, Solinas has managed to rejuvenate Amakhosi and placed them among the early frontrunners.

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