SA winger Gift Neo Links is one of South Africa’s promising attackers. He is one of a few natural out and out wingers with a sweet left foot, an eye for a pass and goal.
Born in 1998, Links has had a good professional career which has seen him breakthrough into the professional ranks at a very young age during his time with the now-defunct Platinum Stars, where he made his PSL debut in 2016.
Then a move to Egyptian Premier League side Pyramids FC as a teenager would prove to be his best elevator. He returned to SA in 2018 to join Cape Town City for one season then moving on to Denmark joining top flight side AGF Aarhus in August last year, which City said was a club record fee.
The 21-year-old had also entered the international stage after making his debut back in 2018 June in the COSAFA cup under then Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter and he is also currently involved with SA U23 team with coach David Notoane. At Aarhus there are high expectations, but things haven’t been smooth for the youth international so far with a lack of consistency in performances taking him in and out of the team towards the end of last year.
Understandably, Denmark is not an easy country to acclimatise to as a young player so the first season was always going to be challenging for Links.
During preparations for the second half of the season, Links had scored and assisted a couple of goals in Aarhus’s friendly games which was good because it means he has integrated well into the team and now with the league postponed due to the Corona virus the expectation is that when things resume the winger would hit the ground running.
It’s almost a whole season since he moved to Denmark so the 2020/21 season should be his breakthrough season.
A good season for Links with his club will also open opportunities for him in the country’s national team set up with Bafana Bafana going to have a rough qualification programme for both the 2021 AFCON and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The SA U23 national team is also going to be in a process of preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in Japan in June next year so there is going to be a lot of demand from the players at all levels in the national team set up.
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By Prince Sobayeni