How Middendorp instantly identified Blom’s potential at Chiefs

How Middendorp instantly identified Blom’s potential at Chiefs

Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has recalled how he knew almost instantly that utility player Njabulo Blom would make it at the highest level.

The Bafana Bafana international last month joined USA Major League Soccer outfit St. Louis City SC in a deal reported to be around R5-milliion.

Middendorp, now at Swallows FC, speaks glowingly of the Amakhosi youth academy graduate.

"Njabulo Blom was playing for Kaizer Chiefs development side when I came in, in December 2018. I brought him quite quickly to the first 11. You could see that he had huge capacity in different moments of the game being part of a good defensive side and also in the build-up in the attacking moments," he said.

The German-born mentor is confident that Blom will be a success in America, especially if he is used as a defensive midfielder, a position Middendorp feels that is where City coach Bradley Carnell will get the best out of him. 

"I immediately figured out that he should be used in the holding six in the midfield. He's got a winning mentality, he's attacking movements, he got stronger and ended up in the national team and made the right move now to MLS. I'm quite sure he's got a fantastic 10 years ahead," Middendorp added.

Middendorp adds that Blom having his countryman Carnell working closely with him makes it a lot easier to adjust in a new league. 

"It's always helpful if you have a reference point of somebody who knows you. Somebody you can talk to about your own country. Someone who will give you a good discussion on a daily basis, that's very comfortable for a player. For example, Bongokuhle Hlongwane went to the MLS first and it was a bit difficult for him," he concluded.