Durban — AmaZulu spokesman Phumlani Dube has insisted that Siyethemba Sithebe remains a valuable player for the squad amidst speculation linking him with a move to Kaizer Chiefs.
“The response is very simple, Sithebe remains a valuable player of AmaZulu FC who is currently out on injury. Otherwise, we do not comment on ongoing contractual discussions with any of our players” Dube is quoted as saying.
The 28-year-old Sithebe has been a key figure of the Usuthu side which has transformed itself from being perennial strugglers to high-flyers under the management of Benni McCarthy.
Last week, AmaZulu coach McCarthy confirmed that he is aware of the speculation surrounding Sithebe’s future. McCarthy confirmed that the Newcastle-born player is an important part of his plans but added that he will not stand in the way of the player should he desire a move away.
"You don’t want to stand in anyone’s way because we want the best for the football club, we want the best for the players, we want the best for everyone. If the player is getting advice from outside people that is best to go there than to stay here, then so be it. We move on. There is hungry, young talent that we can use, so that’s the situation,” said McCarthy.
2021 will go down as arguably AmaZulu’s most successful year since the inception of the PSL. The Durban-based club finished second in the league last season, their highest ever finish in the PSL era and qualified for the CAF Champions League for the first time in their history.
Other highlights included eliminating five-time African Champions TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League second preliminary round. More recently, AmaZulu inflicted a 1-0 defeat upon runaway league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. In doing so, they became the first side to inflict a league defeat upon Masandawana this season.
AmaZulu ended the year with a 2-1 defeat to Orlando Pirates which consigned them to fifth place in the standings. However, the gap between themselves and second-place Pirates is just three points so a strong run of form in the new year can still earn them the right to play in continental football for a second consecutive year.