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Six attackers who could improve Bafana Bafana



South Africa were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Libya in their African Nations Cup qualifier in Durban on Saturday, unable to break down a stubborn opponent for the sixth time in the last eight home continental qualifiers.

It once again put the spotlight on the side as an attacking unit, and has begged the question, where should coach Stuart Baxter go from here to get goals for the national team?

It should be pointed out that Bafana were missing young forward Lebo Mothiba, who would likely have played some part in the game, as well as the silky Themba Zwane, who offers so much on the left-hand side.

But looking forward to the future qualifiers and the start of the new World Cup qualification cycle, Baxter could do with more options in attack.

KweseESPN looks at six potential players not included in the current squad who could make a difference.  


KERMIT ERASMUS

Erasmus has just secured a move to the Portuguese top-flight with Vitoria Setubal and is a player that Baxter is known to admire. His problem in recent years had been a lack of game-time, most notably at Stade Rennes, which made it difficult for the coach to justify his inclusion.

Erasmus moved to AFC Eskilstuna in Sweden earlier this year after negotiating his release from Rennes and scored two goals in 10 appearances before making the switch to Portugal.

The 28-year-old is no stranger to the national setup having won 14 caps since debuting in 2010, and offers pace and a direct running style that can put opposition defences under pressure.

He can be a bit wayward in front of goal, but if given a run of games in Portugal will likely be back in the mix sooner rather than later.


ANDREA FILECCIA

A left-field call and one that would only be possible at the end of the current campaign, but Belgian Fileccia (below, pictured right) has expressed a desire to play for South Africa when he becomes eligible next July.

 
Not blessed with great pace, he is a clinical finisher and in a side that creates a lot of opportunities, that could be just the ticket.

He has a languid style that almost sees him glide across the pitch and he manages to get into good positions because of his ability to read the play. He would be an interesting option for the national side.  

DINO NDLOVU

Ndlovu is something of an enigma, a player who cannot stop scoring at club level, but has been overlooked by a succession of Bafana coaches, who simply don't seem to rate him. 


Ndlovu has 13 goals in 16 appearances for his Chinese second-tier side this season, taking his tally to 56 in 94 starts for various clubs since the start of the 2014-15 season. That includes playing in the UEFA Champions League against the likes of Chelsea, Roma and Atletico Madrid.


He is a targetman-style striker who works hard without the ball and obviously has an eye for goal, but despite being called up for recent camps, has not featured in the team and won only five caps so far.

CRAIG MARTIN

When right-winger Martin (pictured below) first came onto the scene for Cape Town City last season he was a raw talent that needed plenty of refining, but credit to him and coach Benni McCarthy, he has improved his game immeasurably. 


Arguably the quickest player in the Premier Soccer League, he is excellent with the ball at his feet and can create something out of nothing with a burst of pace.

The 24-year-old would be a great option off the bench later in games to run at tiring defences and has a keen eye for goal too, with a thunderous shot.

TOKELO RANTIE

Rantie has re-started his club career at Cape Town City after almost a year in the wilderness following a walkout at Turkish side Gençlerbirliği and is likely to be their lead striker for the remainder of the season.

The 28-year-old has endured a tough time of late with personal issues, but after clearing his head looks to be back in the groove. 
He turned down a call-up for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Senegal last November, saying his head was not in the right space, but on his day can be the most lethal forward in South Africa.

If he can be happy within his game again, and if he has the desire, then he is surely a must for the national team.  

JOEL UNTERSEE

Baxter admitted that South African-born Swiss junior international Untersee would have been in his squad for the Libya game if his documentation had been completed on time to allow him to play.

Hopefully it will be done by the time the Seychelles game comes around because the right-back position proved a problem against the Libyans.

Untersee can play as a wing-back or winger and is actually an attacking option having come through the ranks at Italian giants Juventus. He has the right attributes to stabilise the right side for Bafana. 
He has not featured yet this season for new side Empoli, which would be the only worry.

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