The next four months will be crucial for Thabiso Kutumela to determine his future for next season, following the latest move of his career.
Kutumela has joined Maritzburg United from Orlando Pirates in the current transfer window as he looks to finish the season on a high note.
While reports have indicated that the KwaZulu-Natal has signed the player on a permanent three-year deal, the club’s chairman Farook Kadodia has told the Siya crew that the 25-year-old striker has joined the club on a loan deal with an option to make it permanent at a later stage.
“It’s a loan deal with an option,” Kadodia told the Siya crew.
Kutumela has been with the Buccaneers since 2016, having joined the club after a successful promotion-winning season with Baroka FC, from which he finished as the National First Division's top goalscorer with 18 goals.
Following a disappointing first season with the Soweto giants, as he struggled for game-time under Muhsin Ertugral, Augusto Palacios and Kjell Jonevret respectively during the 2016/17 season, Kutumela was linked with an exit from the Houghton-based club.
It was after the arrival of Milutin Sredojevic and Rulani Mokwena at the Buccaneers that Kutumela was given a lifeline on his Bucs’ career as the new-look technical team of the 2017/18 season decided to keep him and gave him another chance in the team.
Last season, Kutumela made nine starts and a number of substitute appearances – a significant improvement for him from his first season with the club – before a career-threatening injury in February last year put paid to his chances of making further progress.
On his arrival from Baroka two and a half years ago, Kutumela signed a three-year deal with Bucs, which means that his deal will be coming to an end in June this year.
The player will be faced with the challenge of impressing Bucs in the remaining games of the season with Maritzburg for a chance to return to the club on an extended deal at the end of his loan in KZN, or to convince the Team of Choice to exercise their option, if a return to Gauteng does not materialise.