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Sibusiso Zuma: Why Andile Jali should snub Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns for Orlando Pirates

19:42 GMT+4 21/04/2018
Sibusiso Zuma - Orlando Pirates
The 28-year-old has decided to return home after four-and-a half-years with Oostende

Former Orlando Pirates striker Sibusiso Zuma has expressed his disappointment at South Africa international Andile Jali's decision to return to the PSL.

The central midfielder is now a free agent after his contract with Belgian side KV Oostende was terminated two months before its expiry.

The Belgian First Division A outfit announced that it had granted Jali an early release in order for him to return home on Friday.

Jali, who made over 100 appearances for De KustBoys, had established himself as one of the team's key players and the club was keen to extend his contract, but he felt that it was time for him to come back to South Africa.

"Frankly speaking, I am not happy to see Andile Jali coming back to South Africa. He is one of my favourite players," Zuma told Goal.

Zuma, who turned out for Danish clubs FC Copenhagen and Nordsjælland, and German outfit Arminia Bielefeld during his playing days, believes that South Africa national team players should remain in Europe and compete with the best in the world.

"I believe that our best players should stay in Europe and compete in strong leagues. We can only have a strong national team if our best players are playing abroad," the former Bafana captain continued.

"It is a worrying trend, especially when they still have an opportunity to stay there and continue playing with world class players," the retired forward stressed.

"On the other hand, Jali's return to the PSL will strengthen our league in terms of the quality of the players, who ply their trade in the competition," the 45-year-old said.

PSL clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates are all reportedly interested in signing the hard-working player.

However, Zuma believes that it would make sense if Jali returns to Bucs, who sold him to Oostende midway through the 2013/14 campaign.

"Right now a move back to Orlando Pirates would make a lot of sense when looking at the clubs which have been linked with him," Zuma added. 

"I think he would do well under Micho (Milutin Sredojevic), who has managed to transform Pirates into a good team. They need a player of Jali's calibre in their midfield department," the former African Wanderers player explained.

"When I look at Kaizer Chiefs, they have Willard Katsande, who remains a key player in central midfield, while Mamelodi Sundowns also have Hlompho Kekana among others in Jali's position," he indicated. 

"So, for me it would be wise for Jali to rejoin Pirates if they are serious about re-signing him," Zuma concluded.

Jali had a very successful spell with Bucs, winning major trophies with the Soweto giants between 2009 and 2014.