Having persuaded Joel Untersee to play for Bafana Bafana‚ coach Stuart Baxter has turned to three potential national team players based in England and they have all expressed an interest in representing SA.
Swiss junior international Untersee is due in SA in the coming weeks to sort out his citizenship and the Juventus player could appear for Bafana for the first time in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Libya in September.
Baxter has met Preston North End attacking midfielder Tom Barkhuizen‚ Crystal Palace defender Nikola Tavares and Southampton winger Siph Mdlalose. The latter has already appeared in junior national team squads‚ but the 19-year-old would also be available for England. Having made good progress through the development ranks at the Premier League club‚ he could be part of their first team next season.
Southampton have been a steady producer of talent for the England national team in recent times‚ as well as producing the likes of Wales international Gareth Bale.
Barkhuizen is a stalwart at Preston‚ who narrowly missed out on the promotion play-offs to the Premier League last season. He made 47 appearances for the club in the previous campaign‚ mostly as a winger‚ and scored eight goals.
Baxter had a fruitful meeting with Barkhuizen and his agent‚ who have indicated the player‚ who has a South African grandfather but was born in the English resort town of Blackpool‚ is keen to throw his lot in with Bafana.
Tavares was born in Cape Town and came through the junior system at Hellenic before playing for a number of English clubs at junior level‚ including Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton and Hove Albion. He signed a contract with Premier League side Crystal Palace at the start of last season.