Eric Tinkler explains Khanya Leshabela’s release
Image by SABC Sports: Eric Tinkler Cape Town City coach

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler has clarified the decision to release former Leicester City midfielder Khanya Leshabela after a brief stint with the Cape club. The Citizens released five players, including Leshabela, who joined the club as a free agent in February, City lost Brice Ambina and Thato Mokeke in midfield due to injuries.

The former SA under-23 national team player made nine appearances across all competitions for Tinkler’s side, including three starts in the DSTV Premiership in his short stay. Tinkler has revealed that the club opted against renewing the 24-year-old’s contract as he had joined on a short-term deal, and they needed a quick solution to their injury crisis.

“Well, it all happened; as you said, we lost Ambina and Thato Mokeke due to injuries. Those two players were key players for us through the midfield,” said the Cape Town City mentor.

“So we went through quite a rough period, and we needed to try to find a solution as quickly as possible. We heard about Khanya’s availability, so it was a short-term fix, you know. We signed him only until the end of the season.

Tinkler says Leshabela was aware of the terms of the deal they had agreed on when he signed. “We said that from there, we would make a decision on whether we renew for the following season. So he knew what type of deal it was.”
He went on to further explain that the club signing Leshabela was not a mistake because the player contributed whenever he was called into action, and confirms they were already looking at other targets to bring in.

“Was it a mistake? No, because ultimately he did contribute when he came on, but like I said, we were already in stages of signing players for the new season,” said Tinkler. The Citizens have already announced the signing of Namibian rising star Prins Tjiueza, while Hashim Domingo, Fortune Makaringe, Kamohelo Mokotjo, and Petro de Luanda’s midfielder, Carlinhos, also linked with moves to the club after missing out on continental football following a 5th place finish in the league.

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