Colchester United rule themselves out of the running for Tottenham Hotspur cult icon Bongani Khumalo

South Africa Football Stadium

The South African is set to leave White Hart Lane this summer.

Colchester United's survival in League One this season was largely down to the efforts of an on-loan Tottenham Hotspur cult icon.

Bongani Khumalo played a blinding loan spell at the club as they battled the drop, but the club admit they are unlikely to get hold of the player on a permanent deal.

The Halstead Gazette is today confirming Colchester manager Tony Humes as stating:

“It’s unlikely that we’re going to be able to bring Bongani back here, as he’s got options abroad.

“You have to pay credit to him – he came in and done terrifically well in the back four.

“He’s a good character and was a very calming influence on the players around him, with his experience.

“He shored us up and he’s a proper defender and a leader.”

In January 2011 Tottenham Hotspur snapped up the then 24-year-old South African centre back Khumalo from Supersport United. The defender had impressed the previous summer for Bafana Bafana at their home World Cup - even scoring in their 2-1 victory against France.

Khumalo has been out on loan four times since being with the club, to Preston North End, Reading, PAOK Salonika and Doncaster Rovers. However, in his four years at White Hart Lane, he has never made a competitive appearance.

The last time he featured in a match-day squad for Spurs was way back in April 2012 for a fixture against QPR in the Premier League.

Despite this he remains a hit among Tottenham fans, perhaps for the wrong reasons. But non e will wish him anything but the best in his new adventure, wherever that may be.

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