Following a protracted contractual saga, Kaizer Chiefs have finally got their man, but can “Dax” help Chiefs end their long-awaited trophy drought? MARSHALL GOUTS deliberates.
Fans of the Amakhosi have reason to believe that the 2018-19 campaign is the season of promise and why not? Following a miserable three-year tenure under former coach Steve Komphela, the club has gone a long way in trying to amend the club’s structures in a bid to reclaim former glories.
Former Free State Stars coach Giovanni Solinas was selected as the man to take over the reins at Chiefs, ending an almost four-month search for a coach.
Although the verdict is still out on the Italian mentor, the early signs appear positive judging from Chiefs 1-1 draw against defending Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Players who were deemed surplus to requirements were shown the exit door. (Keagan Buchanan, William Twala, Edmore Chirambadare, Sibusiso Khumalo and Tsepo Masilela)
But perhaps, the most compelling piece of evidence that suggests that Chiefs have indeed turned the corner lies in the star-studded acquisitions made in the transfer market this season.
The signings of Khama Billiat and Andriamirado Andrianarimanana in particular signal Chiefs’ intent to knock Sundowns off their perch. Billiat’s signing hogged all the headlines, but it could prove to be the signing of the 2018 COSAFA Cup Player of the Year, which swings the pendulum of the league title in Chiefs’ favour.
One of the biggest concerns at Chiefs since their last title-winning team under Stuart Baxter has been the club’s inability to replace veteran midfielder Renielwe Letsholoyane. Simply put, the former Bafana Bafana international’s departure left a void in the team that wasn’t adequately filled.
With all due respect to the likes of Hendrik Ekstein, George Maluleka and Siphelele Ntshangase – they either blow hot and cold or they are not prolific in the final third, out both.
Dax is believed to be a Yeye 2.0, boasting the ability to dictate terms from just about anywhere in the midfield.
Unlike Yeye, the 27-year-old has both pace and a keen eye for goal. If paired with the right players, this could result in goals galore for a side which boasts a strong strike force.
Expectations of the Madagascan midfielder will have risen slightly after Chiefs participated in a tug-of-war for his services with his former side Fosa Juniors.
While Dax patiently awaits his South African work permit, Solinas and Co will need to bring the attacking midfielder up to par with the Chiefs way of life.
After all, he will prove to be a key cog in the side’s system in the new season.
Photo: Kaizer Chiefs official twitter account