Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has reminded striker Kermit Erasmus that the door is not closed for his return to the national team.
Now on the books of Portugal’s Vitoria de Setubal following his move there four months ago, the 28-year-old forward hasn’t been called up since September last year when South Africa played Cape Verde over two legs in World Cup qualifiers. Prior to joining Setubal, Erasmus played for Allsvenskan in Sweden but was still ignored for national team duty.
“I’ve been in touch with Kermit,” Baxter said. “He was one of the players I was thinking about visiting in the winter in Europe, but he’s not playing enough. I said to him I want him to be making the first steps and I will be behind him. I don’t think those steps have been enough yet, he’s got his club and was in the squad this past weekend and he’s got to settle in.”
There was a call earlier this week from Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane for Erasmus to be recalled and join the striking duo of Percy Tau and Lebo Mothiba – but the Baxter insists there’s no rush.
“I don’t want to put pressure on Kermit. I have told him that I’ve not forgotten about him. I know where he is, he needs to be playing and not worrying. There’s a while to go until we select another squad,” the Bafana mentor explained.
Bafana don’t play an official game until March next year when they face Libya in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.