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Former Bafana Bafana captain Moeti welcomes Erasmus' return to national team

8:38 PM IST 10/03/17
Lens, Kermit Erasmus
Goal spoke to the former Bucs skipper following the announcement of the Bafana squad by stand-in coach Owen Da Gama on Thursday

Former South Africa captain John Moeti feels that France-based striker Kermit Erasmus deserves his national team call-up.

The diminutive forward had been estranged from Bafana Bafana under Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba, who was fired as head coach last December.

Erasmus, who has 11 Bafana caps, is currently on the books of French Ligue 2 side Lens and he has been enjoying regular game-time under coach Alain Casanova.

"I think he was selected on merit. He deserves to be called up because he has been playing regularly in France," Moeti told Goal.

"As long as players are selected on merit like Erasmus - I won't have a problem with the team selection. So, yes he deserves to be back with the national team," he said.

Erasmus, 26, joined Lens on a short-term loan deal from French Ligue 1 Stade Rennais F.C midway through the current 2016/17 campaign.

The quick forward had struggled for regular game time at Rennais after joining them from one of Moeti's former clubs, Orlando Pirates in January, 2016.

"Most footballers want to ply their trade in Europe hoping that things will work out for them, but sometimes they don't work out," Moeti continued.

"It is always a risk when a player changes clubs or moves to a different country to further his football career," the retired central midfielder stressed.

"It's not only Erasmus, who has left the country for a big European league and struggled to adapt. We have had many South African players, who have experienced the same problem," he added.

"As a result they always return home to play in the PSL. That's the reality of our football here in South Africa." he concluded.

Bafana are scheduled to play an international friendly game against Guinea-Bissau at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on March 25.

Da Gama's side will also take on Angola in another international friendly match which will be played on March 28 at a venue to be confirmed.