Cape Town City continue to raise the bar in PSL and other clubs can learn from their transfer dealings of star-trio Lebogang Manyama, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Aubrey Ngoma, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
As the year closes, we can say that 2017 proved to be yet another busy year for the Citizens, who consolidated their status as movers and shakers in the Absa Premiership. Whether it be on the field of play, social media or the business of acquiring players, City have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with.
Following their maiden season heroics [winning the Telkom Knockout and finishing third in league], the club made a bold decision in replacing Eric Tinkler with Bafana Bafana top-scorer Benni McCarthy, in addition to parting ways with not only three of their founding members of the club, but arguably three of their most prized assets.
While the jury is still out on coach McCarthy, who needs time and patience in his new role, it is the departures of the star-studded trio Manyama, Majoro and Ngoma which begs the question –w hat now for Cape Town City’s project?
To fully comprehend the nature of the star-attraction of the trio, one must acknowledge that historically big-name players do not tend to make the move to Cape Town, for many reasons known and unbeknown to us. So for Manyama and Ngoma to make the move from Mpumalanga to the Mother City proved a risk, likewise with Majoro who was snapped up by the club after being transfer-listed by Pirates in 2016. It was a gamble for the players and an investment for the club, which duly worked out.
Manyama was entrusted with the captain’s armband and less than a year later, he departed from South Africa’s top-flight for Turkish shores after reaching his peak in the PSL, subsequently being awarded the PSL Footballer of the Season and the Golden Boot trophies. City cashed in on the Bafana Bafana international in a deal reportedly worth R15 million – a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Many a times, we see this abovementioned situation play itself out, but the process is often delayed and/or derailed due to prolonged contractual negotiations i.e agents/clubs wanting to hold out for less/more money.
The transfers of Majoro and Ngoma may not have been conducted as swiftly, but they followed in the same vein as the Manyama transfer in that the club got the best out of Majoro and Ngoma prior to them joining Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively. Neither of the transfers came as surprises, with Majoro not having featured in the City’s last three games prior to his free transfer to Wits, while Ngoma and Sundowns reportedly agreed to terms in the last transfer window, with the deal being delayed to allow City to find adequate replacements.
City bagged a cool R20 million + for the sales of Manyama and Ngoma and that money will be used to bolster their squad during the January and June transfer windows respectively. There’s also a major incentive in the offloading of these players in that it massively lightens City’s wage bill, something chairman John Comitis is well aware of. The acquisition of defender Kwanda Mngonyama suggests that there could be truth in the rumours suggesting that City captain Robyn Johannes could be shipped off to defending champions Wits.
The club already prepared for life after the likes of Manyama, Majoro and Ngoma having previously brought in Teko Modise, Ayanda Patosi, Victor Obinna and Lyle Lakay, but they will have to dip further into the transfer market to increase squad depth and quality if they are to fire on all cylinders in all their respective competitions.
Photo: Cape Town City’s official twitter page