The only thing more damp and gloomy than the weather in England is Tottenham Hotspur defender Bongani Khumalo’s 16-month career in Britain. The Bafana Bafana international has had a torrid time and is yet to get an English Premiership game under his belt.
After realising his lifelong dream of signing for Spurs in January 2011, he was three months into his contract when he was shipped out. This was after he failed to impress and was subsequently sent out on loan spells at Preston North End and Championship winners Reading.
He continued to see little action during his time away from Spurs. His loan spells proved unfruitful as both clubs discarded him and he returned to Spurs in February 2012.
Khumalo however may see his redundancy at the London club come to an end.
Six Spurs players, including three defenders, are out for the rest season due to injury: Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Jermain Jenas, Niko Kranjcar, Younes Kaboul and Ryan Nelson.
With four matches remaining in the season, this is the ideal opportunity for Khumalo to shed the cob-webs and step up to the plate.
Khumalo sat on the bench during the 1-0 loss to Queens Perk Rangers. Harry Redknapp’s hand may be forced, as the manager didn’t sound too enthusiastic about playing the former SuperSport United captain.
“In our last match I was bang in trouble and would have had to use Bongani Khumalo, who has been on loan at Reading this season and he didn’t get in their side.
“We were desperate. I had five central defenders and now I have only two,” said Redknapp.
“There was one striker fit and there was no one else to play with him.
“Really, we had no cover at centre-half and no cover up front.
“No disrespect to the bench but it is nowhere near the sort of bench we had six to eight weeks ago.”
The crisis leaves Redknapp with only two distinguished defenders available for selection. Injury-prone Ledley King and former Arsenal captain William Gallas are the only defenders available for selection.
Khumalo’s agent Glyn Binkin said his client is a positive and headstrong person.
“He (Khumalo) is hopeful and confident that he can finally break into the starting line-up. This is the chance he plans to grab with both hands.
“We must remember that he has only been at the club for 14 months, but he won’t give up. He has worked hard to get to the English Premiership,” said Binkin.
“He doesn’t want to comment on the current situation at the club, but one thing I can say it that he is eager to play.”
In their next match in the Premier League, Spurs host Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane on Sunday at 5pm. – Pretoria News