Thulani Serero: Ntombela backs Bafana Bafana midfielder to compete in UAE

SBV Vitesse, Thulani Serero
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The South African international's former representative has backed the new Al Jazira player to compete in Asia

Following Bafana Bafana and former Vitesse Arnhem midfielder Thulani Serero’s switch to Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates, the player's former agent Mike Ntombela believes the Soweto-born star will succeed because he is ambitious.

Although the former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder is unsure of the new club’s history, he told Goal that the move has come as a shocker because the former Ajax Amsterdam player was a regular at Vitesse.

Moreover, he backed the nippy midfielder to compete and do well for his new club because playing in the UAE is in line with his personal ambitions of playing abroad.

“I am no longer representing him because we felt it was good to have a representative from Europe than in South Africa. This game is about money and not about money if I can put it that way, but I would like to talk about him as a professional,” Ntombela told Goal.

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“I don’t think he would have liked to go there, knowing him as a person, but because he always wanted to remain and further his career overseas it is a good move.

“However, I am not too sure about ascendancy because one would have thought that coming from the Dutch league he would go to a higher league in Europe.

“But you also think he wanted to go to a club that can secure his future whilst furthering his career overseas because he just turned 29.

"It’s either of the two reasons but knowing him as a person, I am confident he will compete because there is no reason for him to return to South Africa."

On whether the move is a step higher as far as Serero’s career is concerned, the Brazilians official believes the UAE Arabian Gulf League is a step down from the Eredivisie.

“I don’t think this is a big league in terms of ratings and it will be unfair of me to comment on the club. What I know is that he always wanted to play overseas, that has always been his wish until such time he decides to come back home,” he continued.

“If he is happy then we have to wish him the best of luck and congratulate him. He likes to succeed and I am confident he will work hard and compete.

“He was a regular at Vitesse and I think with the deal having been concluded, it’s all about continuity for him but not really sure on ascendancy when it comes to his football career."

In addition, the retired midfielder added that the move to UAE could also open doors for Serero to return to Europe because scouts are keeping their eyes in Asia, especially ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

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“Any football move has its challenges, advantages and benefits, I think it’s correct to say Asian football will be under scrutiny because of the next World Cup,” added the Soweto-born legend.

“I think he will do well there and possibly get another ticket to go back to Europe and join a bigger club. All we have to do is wish him the best of luck and I will possibly speak to him and get more on this move."