Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy has opened up about the departure of Bafana Bafana international Ayanda Patosi.

Patosi left the Citizens in this transfer window to join Esteghlal of Iran in a move that surprised the football fraternity. Patosi was a standout figure for City last season. He encountered some weight issues but when he overcame them he was difficult to stop.

McCarthy said they couldn’t stand in his way.

“If I had 40 players, I don’t mind losing (him) but we are a team that doesn’t stand in players’ way. It was a great opportunity for ‘Pato’ to go to Asia. We said that we are a team that wants to improve players. We want to grow them.

“If an opportunity comes and the foreign club comes to go to Europe and the player is happy to go and couldn’t make a decent living for himself (let him go). If I was told that I couldn’t go to Iran and the money that I earn in South Africa compared with what I would earn there (was much less), I would put up a fight,” McCarthy said.

Patosi joined City in 2017 from Belgian outfit Lokeren. He captured the MTN8 triumph during his stint with the Citizens.

“It was not easy to convince the player to try to stay. When you’re going to earn two times or three times as much money than what you are earning here now ... we don’t hold players’ careers back,” he added.

McCarthy will go into the market in June.

“We will be able to replace him with quality. There are few games left. It is not too long until the season ends. In the new season, we will definitely go into the market and see which top European players want to come back to Africa with experience,” McCarthy said.

City acquired Kermit Erasmus in this transfer window.

“Kermit has to be nurtured. He hasn’t played for a long time. For us to expect him to just fly into games (is unfair). We have to be smart. It is the longevity. It is not just about today. As much as I didn’t want to take him off, I’ve got another match on Friday,” McCarthy said after their recent defeat at AmaZulu.

“It is not like it is getting easier for me. The following matches are against Maritzburg United, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns. I’m going to need every quality player that I have at my disposal,” McCarthy said.