It has been ten months since Njabulo Blom bid farewell to his beloved Kaizer Chiefs, embarking on a remarkable journey to the United States, joining St. Louis on a two-year contract with the option of an additional two-year extension.
The 23-year-old midfielder's decision to move across the Atlantic has raised eyebrows, but as he unveils the motivations behind his move, it becomes clear that this was a carefully considered step in his footballing career.
Njabulo Blom, a native of Dobsonville, South Africa, made headlines in December 2022 when news of his move to St. Louis, America, broke across local media.
The talented midfielder chose to explore a new frontier, leaving behind a club deeply ingrained in his heart – Kaizer Chiefs.
One might wonder why he would opt for such a significant transition, considering his promising career at the South African football powerhouse.
Blom's decision to turn down an extension offer from Kaizer Chiefs and venture to the United States has raised questions and garnered curiosity.
The American soccer landscape: Ex-Kaizer Chiefs' Perspective
Speaking about his move, Blom expressed his belief in the competitive nature of the American league.
He addressed the skepticism surrounding the league's competitiveness, emphasizing that one can truly understand it only by experiencing it firsthand.
With players from Europe and South America increasingly joining Major League Soccer (MLS), Blom found himself in a league that he perceives as being on the rise.
“My [idea] was to use it as a stepping stone to better leagues in Europe and also grow as a person,” he explained.
— GOAL South Africa (@GOALcomSA) October 10, 2023
Blom regarded the move to America as a valuable stepping stone, particularly for players hailing from Africa.
It provided him with an opportunity to play in a good league, within an environment that encouraged personal growth and development.
“It was in November, and I was still trying to figure out my next move because there were things with Kaizer Chiefs that weren’t good – we were not in good terms in terms of my contract.
“My agent told me there’s a new team in US they like kind of interested in me, and it might be a good move for me, a stepping stone to go to Europe,” he stated.
Blom's journey to America was not merely a personal choice but a family one.
Ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder sought counsel from his loved ones, sitting down with his parents and family members to discuss the pivotal move.
They collectively recognized the potential for his growth as a young adult and a professional athlete.
At St Louis, Blom has teamed up with fellow former Chiefs player, Bradley Carnell, who is leading the expansion side with aplomb.
It was an opportunity to venture beyond his comfort zone, embrace new experiences, and find his identity as he navigated the challenges of life in a foreign land.
“I sat down with my mom and my dad, my family we spoke about it. It was really a good move for me especially to grow as a human being move out of my comfort zone find myself as a young adult. We finalised everything in December.”
Revealing the financials: Blom's earnings in the MLS
According to the league's official website, Blom stands to earn an impressive $246,000 (approximately R4.73 million) as his base salary, with guaranteed compensation totaling $338,250 (equivalent to R6.51 million) annually.
His monthly guaranteed compensation translates to $28,188, which is approximately R543,000.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago