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Overseas interest in Luke Baartman heating up

By Mbali Hlophe , in Football | Featured Football | News , at 2023-11-22 Tags: ,

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 24: Luke Baartman of Cape Town Spurs Reserves celebrates after scoring a goal during the DStv Diski Challenge match between Cape Town Spurs Reserves and Royal AM Reserves at UWC Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Seventeen-year-old South African Luke Baartman is reportedly being tracked by Scottish giants, Glasgow Celtic, and English Championship club, Leeds United, ahead of the January transfer window.

Scottish newspapers, especially, have been filled with news of The Bhoys’ interest. They’re coached by Brendan Rodgers, who has also served as coach of Liverpool and Leicester City, among others.

Leeds, coached by Daniel Farke, while in the Championship, are in position to make a run at the Premier League. They’re currently third in the standings and in the thick of the race for promotion.

Still in school, Baartman is viewed as one of the best prospects in South Africa. On Tuesday, he was named the SAFA Cape Town Junior Football Player of the Year.

Earlier this month, he opened his DStv Premiership goal-scoring account for Cape Town Spurs, finding the back of the net against Kaizer Chiefs in a game that Spurs lost 2-3.

The Cape Town club is in desperate need of goal-scoring. They’re currently bottom of the 16-team Premier League standings, having netted just nine times in 11 matches.

Until recently, Baartman enjoyed the guidance of former Cape Town Spurs and Charlton Athletic striker Shaun Bartlett, Bafana Bafana’s second all-time leading goal-scorer. Bartlett was manager of Spurs, but he was sacked at the beginning of October.

While Celtic is a club with a great heritage and wonderful supporters, South African footballers have a particularly rich history with Leeds United. It began with Albert Johanneson, who joined the Yorkshire club in 1961.

A skilful left wing, he turned out in 172 matches for the club and scored 48 goals. He was also the first black player to appear in the FA Cup Final in 1965 in a game which Liverpool won 2-1 after extra time.

Philemon “Chippa” Masinga, best known for the spectacular goal he scored against the Republic of Congo in 1997, which secured South Africa’s place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, spent three seasons with Leeds, from 1994 to 1996, but his former Bafana Bafana team-mate and captain, Lucas Radebe, is the South African player most associated with The Whites.

Known as “The Chief”, and a fan favourite, Radebe was one of the English Premier League’s most dominant central defenders during his time with the club, during which he played 201 games for them, from 1994 to 2005.

He also captained the English club at a time when it consistently finished near the top of the table and played in Europe’s leading club competitions.

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.