Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has made it clear that if it was up to him, he would keep unsettled midfielder Pule Ekstein at Amakhosi for next season.
The 28-year-old diminutive midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the team’s starting XI with Middendorp having said he had given him time to think about his future as he missed a few games recently but gave a starring performance for the Glamour Boys on Sunday afternoon, helping the side to a 2-0 win over Cape Town City in a Nedbank Cup match at Mbombela Stadium. Ekstein scored the first goal and was central to the side’s attack.
“Pule is one of the best players I have worked with. I have said this a lot of times. He has a bit of an irritation at this moment. I hope he will stay. I hope he can be with us. He knows my interest and I think he should reflect a little bit on where he has been,” said Middendorp.
When Ekstein was pulled off with less than 10 minutes remaining, he got a standing ovation from the fans and got a hug from the day’s captain, Bernard Parker, and Middendorp. Football manager Bobby Motaung also gave Ekstein a hug at the end of the game and they were seen whispering to each other.