The coach who gave Thulani Serero his break for the U17 national team, Serame Letsoaka, believes unsolved ongoing injury woes are partly behind his poor season.
It's no secret that Thulani Serero's career in Europe with Ajax Amsterdam took a turn for the worse in 2015/16. Niggling injuries and poor form saw the 26-year-old linked with a move away from the club, as he was relegated to the sidelines for much of last season by then coach Frank de Boer.
De Boer was critical of Serero telling Ajax Showtime late last year, "Thulani has many qualities, but he is not the man for the final pass, and not cool enough in front of goal." Serero made just six league starts and also spent time with the Ajax second team under the Dutchman, who left the club at the end of the last campaign.
Nonetheless, Serame Letsoaka, the former U17 national team coach who gave Serero his big break when he selected him for the side in 2007, believes a yet unsolved long term injury concern might be affecting Serero more than the South African football public may be aware of.
The current Bloemfontein Celtic coach revealed exclusively to Vodacom Soccer: "This is a big year for Thulani as he has gone through a lot of things.
"It's a sad fact that de Boer's departure gives him that chance again at Ajax. Look, Serero has an ongoing groin problem which I first saw when I was coach of the U17 national team.
"It's a problem he had growing up and it's not what it should be. He needs to improve his core strength and build more muscle.
"If it doesn't properly heal, he may always have a problem with it."