Swallows FC head coach Brandon Truter says he wouldn’t think twice about bringing back wonderkid Given Thibedi for next season if he were the Kaizer Chiefs coach.
Thibedi is a Chiefs development product who is currently on loan at the Dube Birds for a season.
The 22-year-old central midfielder from Emalahleni has been a marvel to watch for the promotion-chasing Swallows in the GladAfrica Championship this season.
Asked if he thinks Thibedi is now ready to don the gold and black of Amakhosi, Truter does not hesitate to affirm.
“Yoh! The boy is exceptional. The boy is very good. I think he is ready, yes,”.
Truter says Thibedi reminds him of former Chiefs crowd favourite and most decorated player Thabo ‘Tsiki-Tsiki’ Mooki.
“If you are thinking about Chiefs, you would think in the mould of Thabo Mooki. Seriously, this boy is good,” Truter reiterates.
“He’s got the passing-rate, he’s going box to box, he’s good on the ball, he’s got the skill to get him out of difficult situations.
“He’s got an eye for the final pass, and he chipped in with two goals already, so he mustn’t be judged by his small frame. The boy is very good.
“If I was the Chiefs coach? Definitely you are putting me on the spot now [laughs]. But definitely I would retain him. But look, Chiefs play a different brand of football. It’s more about power, they use force up front, and with us, it’s all about creativity.
“I think Chiefs at the moment is forcing mistakes out of the opposition with the power upfront with [Samir] Nurkovic and [Leonardo] Castro, you understand. With us it’s more about the movement, opening up the opposition. With Chiefs, it’s getting the ball in the danger areas and hoping for a mistake.
“Ja, he will bring a new dimension. I mean, players like [Siphelele] Ntshangase are not playing at the moment at Chiefs you know. All the skilful, talented players, the creative players at Chiefs, they are not really playing at the moment so it’s difficult to say, man.
“Look, I’m not too sure about his contract, but with Chiefs having a transfer ban and there’s an option on his contract, in all likelihood they are going to extend it because the boy is doing very well hey. He is very good.
“So I don’t know, you will have to speak with Chiefs about him. But right now he is still their player, he is on loan by us. We would like to keep him, I would like to sign him for next season. But for now, he is their player.
“I think the ball is in their court at this moment. I would like to keep him, yes. I would love to keep him for another season.”
Asked about Thibedi’s future with the Soweto giants, Chiefs communications manager Vina Maphosa could not shed any light.
“At the end of June as normal for a professional club we will issue our statements about contracts,” he says.
“And for control, when a player is signed be it permanent or loan with another team, we can’t give an update yet until it is necessary.”