By John Goliath
Ajax Cape Town boss George Comitis has confirmed that new French striker Romain Carbonnier could make his debut on Sunday in the Nedbank Cup against First Division outfit Nathi Lions after he received his official clearance to play in South Africa.
Carbonnier, who has been signed until the end of the season, could partner the Premiership's leading scorer Mabhudi Khenyeza in the round of 16 match at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.
"He is registered and maybe he will even make his debut this weekend," Comitis told the Cape Times on Tuesday.
"We are glad to have him in the team and are looking forward to seeing what he can do on the park."
It remains to be seen if Ajax Cape Town coach Craig Rosslee is going to change his formation and where he will accommodate the former Montpellier striker.
Khenyeza has played on his own upfront in recent times, with the young Thulani Serero playing behind him in a support striker role.
It would be unfair to drop Serero, though, after some good performances for the club. Carbonnier is relatively unknown and he might only get his chance off the bench as he hasn't played a competitive match since signing for Ajax last month.
But, according to sources at Ikamva, the Frenchmen has looked really sharp at training. He is said to be very quick and fleet-footed, and he could be the perfect foil to the free-scoring Khenyeza.
The Urban Warriors' other acquisitions in the strike department have flattered to deceive this season. Ghanaian Joseph Masel and Nigerian Tasiu Mohammed have been very disappointing since joining the Cape outfit at the start of the campaign.
Their below-par performances have put an extra burden on the shoulders of Khenyeza. But the Ajax No 9 has met the challenge head-on and has had a magnificent season.
It has culminated in a couple of Bafana Bafana call-ups ahead of the likes of Terror Fanteni and Lerato Chabangu.
Meanwhile, another Ajax signing, Stanton Lewis is still recovering from the knee injury that has kept him out of action since his arrival in January.
According to Comtis, he will might only feature much later in the campaign.
"Stanton is still recovering from his injury and should only be back in three to four weeks," Comitis said yesterday.
"He will probably only be available towards the end of the season. We don't want to rush him, because we want him to recover properly."
Lewis, who joined on-loan from Ajax Amsterdam, arrived in the Mother City injured without the knowledge of the Ajax Cape Town bosses.
He is also one of several Ajax players who are struggling with knee problems.
Goalkeeper Sean Roberts, playmaker Mfundo Shumana and midfield anchor Nhlanhla Shabalala are all suffering with knee injuries. Of the three, Shabalala seems to be the only one likely to feature before the end of the season.
Shabalala, who was walking on crutches almost two weeks ago, is set to return soon after completing most of his rehabilitation.
However, it remains to be seen if he travels to Chatsworth this weekend.