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Opinion: Chiefs' bumper deal not the end for Dolly?

Kaizer Chiefs star midfielder Keagan Dolly's signing was seen as a step backward in his career, considering that he spent four-and-half seasons at French Ligue 1 side Montpellier.

Dolly was expected to be one of South Africa's best exports playing for Montpellier, after signing from Mamelodi Sundowns, where he contributed to the club winning their first CAF Champions League title in 2016.

The expectation was that Dolly's rise would continue in Europe and had the potential of emulating the likes of Steven Pienaar, both of whom come from the same area, Westbury in Johannesburg and both played for youth club Westbury Arsenal and School of Excellence, by playing in the top leagues in Europe.

However, football can be unpredictable at times, as injuries hampered his progress at Montpellier, where he eventually became a bit-part player, before parting ways with the club and returning to SA.

Dolly's move back home was not expected, as Chiefs pulled off a major coup to get the former Sundowns midfielder still in his prime on a reported R1,45 million per month contract, although at the time he was signed he was carrying weight due to inactivity at his previous club.

As a result, at the beginning of the season, the 28-year old was not in his best condition and showed only glimpses of brilliance, as Amakhosi had a bad start.

However, after the second international break, Dolly showed his class in Chiefs' 4-0 win over Chippa United, netting a magnificent brace that showed why he was playing in the highest level in France after improving his physical conditioning.

After Amakhosi signed Dolly, the expectation was always that he is in the PSL to retire but at age 28 and if he gains momentum and produce performances reminiscent of his trophy-laden spell at Sundowns, then he could catch the eye of European scouts once again.

Despite his bad shape at the beginning of the season, one of Dolly's best attributes is that he still has discipline in taking care of his career, as Amakhosi coach alluded that the Westbury born-player takes instructions seriously.

"He’s worked hard. I can’t take the responsibility – from the coach comes inspiration, but from the player comes motivation. And if you give him a plan, he sticks to it,” Baxter said in his post-match interview.

In the PSL, it's quite hard for a player approaching his 30s to get a move abroad but Dolly's advantage is that he has four-and-half seasons under his belt in the French Ligue 1 and that could work in his favour if he still has ambitions of returning to Europe.

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CAF Champions League Dolly Kaizer Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns Montpellier

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