JOHANNESBURG - It's not as straightforward as it appears for Kermit Erasmus to revive his career. His limited options - after becoming a free agent last week following a decision to have his contract with French club Stade Rennes terminated - complicate his next move slightly.
Because he cut ties with Rennes out of the transfer window period in France, several other top European leagues as well as in his own native country are his only other routes if he wants to resume playing immediately.
He can go to Sweden, Norway, China, Russia or the United States.
The fact is that the striker’s progress has stalled and made him South Africa’s forgotten man, all this despite his unquestionable talent.
Allow me to remind you that Erasmus is the same player who just wouldn’t give up his dream of playing abroad. When he was 18, the Port Elizabeth-born forward signed for Feyenoord, in the Dutch Eredivisie, who loaned him out to a side a that was campaigning one division lower at the time.
Things didn’t work out as Erasmus had hoped and he returned to SuperSport United and later joined Orlando Pirates. But when another chance presented itself to move back to Europe, the striker did not hesitate to leave the Buccaneers in the lurch.
He was set to be Pirates’ focal point in attack when they faced Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs in a derby later that week, but was not sentimental in making his decision to join a new club. It has not worked out - again.
But Erasmus is a fighter, and only just 27. He now has to make a sober judgment concerning his future - go to another relatively obscure league for the next five months or wait for the 2018-19 season to find what would be a more permanent home.
At this moment, what is probably occupying his mind is that he just wants to play. But five months isn’t such a long wait if you are making a career defining decision.
If he is patient, Erasmus will be the biggest winner from this whole saga. The sad reality is that attempting to look for another club in Europe is a risk that will throw him into oblivion. Think about it, his track record abroad is not that impressive anymore after he spent the several months watching Rennes from the stands or the comfort of his home.
His options in France or any other credible league in Europe are at smaller clubs that can probably afford to take a chance on a player who has struggled so much for game time.
I’d argue the circumstances are a little bit different here at home.
None of the big PSL teams would look the other way if told Erasmus, at his age and on the evidence of what he’s done at SuperSport and Pirates some years back, was available and for free.
Point me to that club and I will show you an institution that lacks ambition and couldn’t see a bargain from a mile.
This offers Erasmus a clean slate, one that makes him relevant, highlights his unbelievable talent and means he will be right in front of national team coach Stuart Baxter.
But of course this is easier said than done. It requires an incredible amount of patience. But it will be worth it.