The pint-sized forward, much to the surprise of Tinkler, signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with French side Stade Rennais on Thursday.
That happened while Tinkler was doing interviews, first, during the day, on this afternoon’s Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium, and then at night after the Nedbank Cup last 32 draw in Sandton, where Pirates were drawn against Amakhosi.
“He is a massive loss,” Tinkler said at the launch of the Nedbank Cup.
“Truth be told, the information I was given by him was that he had to attend a family matter, an urgent family matter regarding his wife in Holland.
“This comes as a surprise. He hasn’t been here since last week Monday, before the (Jomo) Cosmos game.
“Already then he wasn’t a part of my plans (for today’s Soweto Derby). But my suggestion is that you speak to the club; I don’t want to be saying things I don’t know about.
“We tried to contact him but failed. I can’t tell you whether he is coming or not.
“I have been planning that he will not be here.”
In his absence, the outfit continued their slump and lost 1-0 to Ezenkosi.
They need to turn that around when they host Amakhosi in the second round of this fixture. In the first round, Erasmus tormented Amakhosi and Eric Mathoho as he created all the goals in a 3-1 mauling.
It’s that skill as a playmaker the team will miss, especially with Oupa Manyisa still out.
The Buccaneers have lacked a player to carry the team with neat passing and able to open stubborn defences from the middle. That’s why they have been attacking from the flanks, using their fullbacks while their wingers tuck in.
Whenever those fullbacks have been forced to defend and the midfield is packed, Pirates have struggled without someone to untangle them from those knots.
That will be Tinkler’s biggest concern going forward.
But his first concern, however, is how Erasmus left.
“I can’t sit and speak for Kermit.
“Do I think it’s right (how he left)? No, I don’t think it’s right. I don’t think it’s professional (because he wasn’t honest with me). I can’t take it further than that because I don’t know the full story,” Tinkler said.
The club know the full story.
“We are not talking about Kermit. The club will make a statement at an appropriate time,” said Pirates administrative officer Floyd Mbele.
Pirates will have playmaker Mpho Makola but he is more effective when playing wide and then drifting inside.
He finds the job of breaking down opponents with his skills inside much too cumbersome.
The French league will see Erasmus get a new challenge in a competitive league and Chiefs coach Steve Komphela believes he will fit in well, especially since he has played abroad before.
“Kermit has travelled a lot,” Komphela said.
“He has been through a lot of international exposure with the junior national teams.
“Even at SuperSport (United) at youth level, he was in and out of Feyenoord (in Netherlands). He is an international player. He should just adjust to the language.” - Saturday Star
Original source: Pirates will miss Erasmus