Baxter challenges Erasmus to get 1st XI football in Portugal

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has challenged Vitoria Setubal forward Kermit Erasmus to get regular first team football under his belt if he wants a recall to the national side.

Erasmus has fallen out of favour with Bafana following his struggles in Europe, and he last was in the squad in 2017 for the back-to-back defeats to Cape Verde in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

The 28-year-old has struggled for game-time in France's Ligue 1 with Rennes, before eventually moving to Vitoria where has made just one appearance in 2018/19 in a cup game.

As such, Baxter takes the view that the former Orlando Pirates star needs regular first team football to be seriously considered for future selection.

He said: "I've been in touch with Kermit. I've spoken to him. Kermit is one of the ones I was thinking of going to pay a visit to in winter in Europe, but he is not playing enough. I said to Kermit, 'I want you to be making the first steps and then I will get behind you, I'll support you and I'll come see you'.

"I don't think those steps have been enough yet. He is not playing, he was not in the squad. He has to settle in. I say to him 'when you are settled, I have not forgotten about you. I know where you are. Get some games under your belt and we'll see where you are'.

"Kermit is a talented player and I don't think over the last seven or eight, maybe even a bit more, that he's had, I don't think he needs more pressure. I think he need to relax into his environment and say 'right, let me have a real go at this and let me get some games under my belt and I know the national team coach is not turning a blind eye to me'.

"I've worked at the club where he's at, so it would please me enormously to go back and see a few smiling faces there. If Kermit gets some game-time, then there's no reason why I should not get on a plane and go see him."