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Is this the reason why Baxter can't drop Nurkovic? [Opinion]

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has divided opinion on his use of striker Samir Nurkovic in his system, slightly tweaking his position upfront.

Nurkovic made his name in the country in his first season at Chiefs, the 2019/20 campaign, where he inspired them to a second place finish, that earned Amakhosi a place in the CAF Champions League.

That was under former coach Ernst Middendorp, who adapted his system to accommodate the big Serbian centre-forward, which meant Amakhosi were playing direct football, relying on quick transitions and crosses into the area.

Nurkovic was complimented by Colombian striker Leonardo Castro, who had almost the same attributes as him, although Castro, is not only strong aerially but also comfortable on the ball.

However, since there has been a change of coaches, with Gavin Hunt at the helm in the 2020/21 season, Nurkovic has not been the same, although his loss of form coincided with him reportedly demanding a new and improved contract, which he ultimately got.

Under Hunt, Nurkovic had a couple of injuries, which affected his game but when he got the chance to play, the team was doing badly and there was no real momentum and therefore, he was not solely to blame and therefore his performances were not scrutinized more than that of the whole team.

However, expectations have raised up again this season, where Chiefs went all out to buy quality players after a two-window transfer ban and Nurkovic is yet to score this season and what frustrates fans the most is that unlike last season, where Amakhosi had a thin bench, this season they have other quality players who they can replace him with.

Although the season is still in it's early stages, Nurkovic has become a hot topic, with regards to whether he deserves to start games, considering that he has been shifted to the left side of a front three and not only his lack of mobility is letting the team down, but he's missing clear chances.

So why can't the Serbian be dropped to the bench?

Well, the reason why Nurkovic can't be dropped or substituted willy-nilly, could be that he's reportedly one of the highest earning players, not only at Chiefs but in the league.

According to TheSouthAfrican, Nurkovic is the second-highest paid player in the DStv Premiership, taking home R930, 000 per month, behind Keagan Dolly, who reportedly pockets R1,45 million per month.

Do you think Nurkovic's high salary package, influences Baxter's decision not to drop him?

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Baxter Ernst Middendorp Leonardo Castro Nurkovic Stuart Baxter


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