CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City announced their latest acquisition earlier this week - 18-year-old Malawian midfielder Isaac Kaliati - but the youngster is seen as a long-term prospect rather than an immediate starter.
So, when City host Chippa United in a PSL fixture at the Athlone Stadium on Monday (kick-off 7.30pm), Kaliati is unlikely to feature.
But there is no doubt the teenager, who has signed a five-year deal with the Cape club, is seen as a player to monitor very closely in the seasons ahead. The precocious midfielder has impressed for his country to such an extent that he has already been capped at senior international level.
“We had Isaac (Kaliati) on trial two weeks ago and you could immediately see how comfortable he is on the ball,” said City coach Eric Tinkler.
“He doesn’t make many mistakes when he is in possession. He has great vision, an excellent passing range and is technically very good.
“He is a young player who has the potential to become even better as he gains experience.
“Obviously, his physique is a problem at this stage of his development. But that is because he is young, and it is something we can work and build on. Isaac is definitely one for the future.”
Of more immediate concern for City is tomorrow’s fixture against Chippa, where victory is paramount.
With five clubs - City, Wits, SuperSport United, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns - in the race for the PSL title, as the season winds down over the next two months, there is no room for error.
Chippa are in ninth position on the PSL log, but the clubs in mid-table are bunched so tightly together that defeat could quickly drag a team towards the bottom. This will, of course, add some desperation to the PE-based club’s performance levels tomorrow, making things even more difficult for City.
Sunday: Polokwane City v Bloem Celtic
Monday: Cape Town City v Chippa United (Athlone Stadium, 7.30pm)