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Cape Town City

Benni McCarthy: Thabo Nodada can replace N'Golo Kante at Chelsea

8:18 PM IST 01/10/19
Thabo Nodada, Cape Town City, December 2017
The 24-year-old midfielder has immediately hit top form despite returning from a lengthy injury layoff this season

Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy believes midfielder Thabo Nodada is now ripe for a move to one of Europe’s big leagues.

One of the standout performers for Cape Town City this season, Nodada has scored three goals in five Premier Soccer League appearances after recovering from an injury that sidelined him for a lengthy period last season.

His good form has seen him grabbing a brace against SuperSport United two weeks ago and again finding the target during last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Orlando Pirates

With McCarthy having been quoted criticising his players in recent weeks, he has however spoken glowingly of Nodada whom he believes can easily play in one of Europe’s top leagues.

“I think he's got what it takes to play in all the biggest leagues in Europe. It takes a lot to say that because I think there's not a lot of players in South Africa that I can say [that of] from what I've seen - that got what it takes,” said McCarthy, as reported in the Sowetan.

“I think for me, if I can make a comparison, I say if you take N'Golo Kante out of Chelsea you put Nodada in there, I don't think people will spot the difference. I think it's more than talent, you need tenacity, you need passion.”

The former Ajax Amsterdam and Porto forward also hailed Nodada as a highly-disciplined player and hard worker.

“[Nodada is] never late, never misses a training [session]... whatever knocks or pimp, always wants to train, always wants to stay [for] extra [training], always wants to do more and in the game you see it ... [he] runs the most,” said McCarthy.

Nodada is expected to start for City on Tuesday when they take on AmaZulu in a league tie at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium.

With their campaign having been largely marked by draws, McCarthy’s side is under pressure to revive their season by recording a second win of the term on Tuesday.