Benni McCarthy has disclosed that his relationship with Victor Obinna during their time at West Ham was key in securing the forward's signature Cape Town City.
McCarthy, coach of the South African topflight outfit, and the Nigeria marksman both turned out for the Hammers in the 2011-12 season.
And the South African legend has said that his friendship with the former Inter Milan player during that period was a major factor in capturing him from Europe to the Premier Soccer League.
The Citizens announced the signing of the 30-year old forward on Tuesday on a free having last featured for German club Darmstadt 98 in the 2016-17 campaign.
“He is a really good friend of mine, I know Victor from his days with the Nigerian national team when he used to be a striker partner to Obafemi Martins back then and obviously, when an African player signs for a team like Inter Milan, everybody knows about it and it was around about the time I was in England (or Spain or Portugal)," McCarthy told media.
"So yeah, it is big news for African players when you get such an opportunity, but then I came across him at West Ham, that’s where we played together.
“He was a bit young and I almost sort of took him under my wing because I was on my way out and he was in so, we just became friends and always just kept in touch all these years and obviously I learnt that he was free and he doesn’t have a club.
"Of course, when you are in Europe why would you want to come to South Africa so I had to pursue him a little just to get himself back into football again. To my shock and surprise, he said – why not, what does he have to lose? So that is how really he came down and that was it because we were teammates at West Ham and that’s what (has drawn) him here,” he concluded.