A horror injury will sideline Sibusiso Vilakazi for months, but now a new kid on the block will look to make an impact on the Bafana Bafana scene.
Cape Town City’s attacking midfielder Gift Links was called up on Wednesday afternoon as a replacement for Vilakazi, who went down during a practice match against SuperSport United earlier in the day.
Mamelodi Sundowns stalwart Vilakazi sustained a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and won’t feature in the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles.
The first encounter takes place on Saturday at the FNB Stadium (3pm kickoff), with the second in Seychelles on Tuesday (2.30pm SA time).
The SA Football Association announced that coach Stuart Baxter and his technical team were still considering whether to call up someone in place of Vilakazi.
But Cape Town City let the cat out of the bag, posting on their Twitter account: “Yo Thabo, Thami hold up, I’m on the way! Gift Links has been called up to represent Bafana Bafana against the Seychelles in the #2019AfconQualifiers”
City were referring to Thabo Nodada, who received his first ever Bafana selection, while club captain Thamsanqa Mkhize is also in the Bafana mix.
Links continues to enjoy an unbelievable 2018, with his national call-up coming just eight days after his 20th birthday.
He joined Egyptian club Al Assiouty from Platinum Stars in January, made his Bafana debut in the Cosafa Cup in June, and then secured a move to City after a change in ownership at Al Assiouty, which became Pyramids FC.
Links, who lost a cup final in Egypt, got to hold some silverware after a fine display in the MTN8 final against SuperSport United last month, which the Citizens won 4-1 on penalties.
“Yo Thabo, Thami hold up, I’m on the way!” 📞— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) October 10, 2018
Gift Links has been called up to represent Bafana Bafana 🇿🇦 against the Seychelles 🇸🇨 in the #2019AfconQualifiers #iamCityFC #InternationalWatch pic.twitter.com/AI6IvM7mVv