Cape Town City FC coach Eric Tinkler says more DStv Premiership clubs are attracting South American players because “football is struggling financially”.
While the likes of PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have signed players from South America over the years, the ‘so-called’ smaller clubs have largely missed out.
In the recent January transfer window, the Citizens snapped up Venezuelan winger Darwin Gonzalez while Stellenbosch FC secured the services of Venezuelan striker Juan Carlos Ortiz and Argentina midfielder Junior Mendieta.
Mamelodi Sundowns, meanwhile, lured Bolivian midfielder Erwin Saavedra to Chloorkop.
Tinkler said according to SowetanLIVE: “The South American market has opened because football is struggling at the moment, financially.
“A lot of South Americans used to find their way to Europe and Europe now doesn’t have the money they used to have, so now that market has slightly opened up even to SA.”
Tinkler added: “There’s a lot of talent that exists in South America. The brand of football they play is pretty much very similar to the brand we play.
“They are very technical players, so they turn to adapt a lot quicker, I think, to our brand of football.
“[Mamelodi Sundowns’ Uruguayan winger Gaston] Sirino is a prime example… there’s a boy at Stellies – Mendieta.”
Eric Tinkler has 45 Bafana Bafana caps
Tinkler, now 51, is currently in his second stint at the helm of Cape Town City FC having previously coached the Mother City side between 2016-2017.
He has also overseen Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United, Chippa United and Maritzburg United.
Tinkler has 45 caps – and one goal – for Bafana Bafana.