Former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe has urged former club Leeds United to beef up their ranks and dreams to see South African players such as Percy Tau and Bongani Zungu playing in the Premier League.
Formerly on the books of Mamelodi Sundowns, Tau recently saw his loan deal with Club Brugge coming to an end and will return to Brighton & Hove Albion, while Zungu has been linked with a move to Rangers in Scotland.
Speaking exclusively to Goal just after his club gained promotion to the English top-flight, Radebe also praised manager Marcelo Bielsa, who he regards as a brilliant tactician.
On the other hand, the retired central defender also shared some advice for the current generation at Elland Road, saying they must work harder than before to sustain their top-flight status.
“I think one of the players that I would like to see in the Premier League following from our footsteps as African players, Percy Tau comes to mind,” Radebe told Goal.
“He’s one of the players that I’d definitely love to see in the Premier League. We have Bongani Zungu. He’s another player that I’d love to see in the top-flight.
“I know we [Leeds] are struggling with the defenders and goalkeepers but I’d like to see more of the young players going up and impress in the top-flight.”
Leeds sealed their promotion when they beat Eric Tinkler's ex-team, Barnsley, 1-0 on Thursday night and the former Kaizer Chiefs defender admitted he is very excited by the prospect of seeing his old employers compete with England's top clubs again.
“You can imagine how I feel, I’m so excited like a kid before Christmas. It’s absolutely amazing and if there’s any club that deserves to be in the Premier League, it’s Leeds,” added the Bafana legend.
“I mean it’s Leeds United, I’ve heard the fans of other clubs praising Leeds and that shows what a big club it is and what impact it has as well as the excitement it brings in the Premier League.
“But it’s been too long, you know and now we’re back where we belong - I hope we sustain the status for a long time.”
On what can the current generation do better to ensure they avoid heading back to the Championship, the 1996 African Cup of Nations winner called on them to work even harder than before.
“I think, one thing that will be an issue on individual players, they must not let it get to the head because there’s no doubt about the quality in the team, but there’s going to be competition among the individuals,” continued the 51-year-old.
“Obviously to stay in the Premier League, we need to reinforce and ensure the club stays in the Premier League. So, for them to sustain their status, they will need to work harder than we did.
“With Bielsa, I think we’ve got a brilliant coach. He’s one of the best managers that I’ve ever seen and we are lucky to have him as a club.”