Malawi national football team attacker, Gerald Phiri Junior, has requested South Africa’s Absa Premier Soccer League (PSL) ailing champions, Bidvest Wits, for a second release to Platinum Stars on loan, hoping for more game-time.
The Flames dead-ball specialist and Stars Coach, Roger De Sa, confirmed separately that the loan switch was imminent in this transfer window.
“Yeah, I am going back [to Stars] on loan, with an option of the team buying me at the end of the season. I requested for the move. I am happy to go back,” said the 24-year-old who has scored once in seven games for Wits this season.
De Sa confirmed to South Africa’s Kick-Off online football magazine on Thursday that he was closing in on the former Be Forward Wanderers and Zimbabwe’s Caps United playmaker. “Basically, we [are] getting Gerald Phiri,” De Sa told KickOff.com .
“We are still trying to do a deal with Wits and the work permit. He is still at Wits, but I think he is just trying to do his permit and we will see if he can do it as quickly as possible.
“For now that is it. That is the only thing that is really, really happening. The rest is obviously a lot of speculation, negotiations and talking.”
Phiri enjoyed his time with Stars while on the first loan last season, combining well in a midfield diamond with compatriot Robert Ng’ambi.
Wits, who are second from bottom of the PSL log table, have embarked on a clearout that has seen former Bafana Bafana star Steven Pienaar released.
Phiri’s compatriot, Gabadinho Mhango, is yet to score in all competitions this season for Wits. He too, is enjoying limited game-time, often being featured from the substitutes’ bench.
In an earlier interview, the former Nyasa Big Bullets star admitted that he was struggling to make it into the starting XI but was elusive to comment on reports that teams in Egypt and South Africa are interested in him.
Mhango’s contract with Wits ends next year. Flames Team Manager, James Sangala, Friday welcomed Phiri’s wish to seek a loan release, saying apart from stiff competition, foreigners are victims of biased player selection in some PSL teams.
“If that is the case [that he wants out of Wits] then it is good because last time he played at Platinum Stars, his career progressed and he acquired loads of experience. He needs to play regularly as he is an important member of the national team, owing to his creativity and an ability to score crucial goals,” Sangala said.
Apart from Phiri, Ng’ambi and Mhango, other Malawians in the PSL are Atusaye Nyondo of Bloemfontein Celtic, Robin Ngalande (Baroka FC), Limbikani Mzava (Golden Arrows) and Muhammad Sulumba (Polokwane City).
The number of Malawians has been diminishing in the PSL as clubs opt to sign players from countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe whose clubs and national teams excel in international competitions.
Brave Warriors (defunct), Wanderers, Caps,
Township Rollers, Wits, Stars.
Height: 183 cm
Flames career: 18 caps, 5 goals
Debut: Malawi v Mozambique 2015
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