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Benni buzzing about Rantie’s potential impact

Cape Town City signed the pacey 27-year-old on deadline day from Turkish side Genclerbirligi and they hope they can get the striker back to full fitness.

FILE: South Africa's Tokelo Rantie (in yellow) is blocked by Cape Verde players Tiago Almeida and Ryan Mendes during their 2018 World Cup Qualifying match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 5 September 2017. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy believes that he might have the solution for City’s goal-scoring woes with the capture of the enigmatic Tokelo Rantie. McCarthy has been clear that the club required a consistent goal scorer after the side netted just 26 goals in 30 league matches in 2017/2018.

City signed the pacey 27-year-old on deadline day from Turkish side Genclerbirligi and they hope they can get the striker back to full fitness. Rantie has been without competitive football for just under a year after enduring a nightmare end to his six-year European expedition.

McCarthy, a prolific striker in his day, has already shared a dressing room with Rantie at Orlando Pirates and he believes their signing is a major coup.

“We did hit a little bit of a jackpot because he is a player that I'm very fond of, he was a former teammate of mine and I know his capabilities. My main priority is to try and get him fit as soon as possible because I know when he gets going, then good luck to the rest of the league because he's unstoppable at his best.”

Rantie is no stranger to controversy, having clashed with national team coaches Shakes Mashaba (2016) and Stuart Baxter (2017). He also went AWOL from Genclerbirligi but McCarthy hopes his supposed disciplinary issues are behind him and that being in the the Mother City will be a fresh start.

“He hit a little of a rough patch and everybody does in life. I don't think there's a person in the world, not even the great Richard Branson. He also had to start with a rough patch in his life. Tokelo can be excused for that, but it doesn't stop him from being a world-class striker.”

Having formed a solid partnership with Rantie at Pirates, McCarthy believes that if the striker can get back to his best form, it could have far reaching impacts.

“It's not just Cape Town City and myself that's going to benefit but Bafana Bafana, irrespective of what the coach (Baxter) has against him. When he bangs in goals to the level that he should, why would the national team deny a player that can help us qualify for World Cup that we can’t seem to do?”

Rantie certainly has the scoring pedigree that City are in search of, having played for Bournemouth (England) and Malmo FF (Sweden).

He will battle with Matthew Rusike and Siphelele Mthembu for the striker's position.