Surprise inclusion in the latest Bafana Bafana squad, Jeffrey Ntuka, has received glowing praise from former national coach Styles Phumo.
Speaking to the Daily Sun on Thursday. Phumo described the 21-year-old central defender "as the future of SA soccer."
Phumo said he first saw the Kroonstad-born player playing for the national under-20 team before drafting him into an Amagluglug squad which took on Venezuela's senior team in a friendly in May.
"We lost 2-1 but that youngster shone. He is cool and calm under pressure, in the mould of Lucas Radebe," Phumo is quoted to have said.
Ntuka was on Thursday included in national coach Stuart Baxter's 20-man squad to face Tunisia in a friendly in Tunis on August 18.
He will compete with established stars Mbulelo Mabizela and Aaron Mokoena for a place in the centre of South Africa's rearguard against the current African champions.
Ntuka is a product of the School of Excellence.
He, along with fellow South Africans Boy-Boy Mosia and Moses Modhubi were later signed by Chelsea and loaned out to their Belgian feeder club Westerlo.
Ntuka recently broke into Westerlo's first team.