Kaizer Chiefs landed the marquee signing of Khama Billiat from Mamelodi Sundowns, but they will need more than the former PSL Footballer of the Year to mount a serious title bid, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
The Soweto giants have made a bit of progress ahead of the start of the 2018-19 Absa Premiership season, with the appointment of coach Giovanni Solinas as well as the acquisitions of Billiat, Virgil Vries, Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana and Letlhogonolo Mirwa.
Chiefs also lost out on a number of reported transfer targets, with Mamelodi Sundowns snapping up Andile Jali, Mosa Lebusa and Lebohang Maboe, while winger Vincent Pule joined arch-rivals Orlando Pirates despite media reports that he’d signed a pre-contract with the Naturena-based outfit last season.
With the transfer window officially closing 31 August, there are a number of players which the club could still secure in their bid to bolster their squad.
Less than five games into the 2018-19 PSL season and Amakhosi coach Solinas is already citing fatigue as an excuse for results not going in their favour. A 3-1 defeat to former champions Bidvest Wits, coupled with rather blunt showings in stalemates against Baroka and Maritzburg United leaves one to ask the question:
Do Chiefs have enough quality within their ranks as things stand?
Unless mediocrity has become acceptable, Chiefs could look to bolster their squad ahead with one or more of the following signings:
1) Lebogang Manyama:
The former PSL Footballer of the Year is no stranger to the South African top-flight, having plied his trade for Ajax Cape Town, SuperSport United and most recently Cape Town City.
Manyama’s dream move abroad to Turkish side Konyaspor didn’t go according to plan with the 27-year-old being handed his clearance approximately a year after joining the club.
The attacking midfielder is not only creative in the final third, but he boasts a keen eye for goal and could be the perfect go-to-guy for Chiefs to complete an attacking trio consisting of Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Manyama.
2) Grant Margeman
With the decline of Willard Katsande seemingly in full swing, Chiefs desperately need a long-term replacement for the defensive midfielder.
Margeman displayed his sound technical ability for Ajax Cape Town, showing maturity beyond his years. He was part of the Amajita team that did duty at the U20 World Cup and was also included in Stuart Baxter’s provisional 34-man Cosafa Cup squad.
Forms part of a rare breed of midfielders in the PSL, who can excel at playing anywhere in the central midfield. His passing range and ability to keep it simple and get stuck in are arguably his best qualities.
3) Phakamani Mahlambi
The former PSL Young Player of the Year completed a move to Al Ahly in September last year, but failed to establish himself as a regular in the team, having made 12 appearances for the Egyptian giants, scoring once and notching up five assists.
He was poised for an exit from the Egyptian giants after he handed in his transfer request, with the Bafana Bafana starlet’s agent confirming that he was forced to train on his own. Mahlambi recently returned to training, however, it remains to be seen whether his fortunes will change.
The Red Devils slapped a €2-million price-tag on the 20-year-old and if Chiefs are willing to fork out the big bucks, they would certainly be getting a game-changer. Mahlambi is devastatingly good in the final third and can inject some much needed quality and pace into Solinas’ team.
4) Tendai Ndoro:
The former Orlando Pirates star was spotted training with newly-promoted side Highlands Park, following the now infamous Ndoro-gate which led to the relegation of Ajax Cape Town for ineligibly fielding the forward.
Chiefs look far from the finish product, especially in the final third and snapping up the Zimbabwean forward could go a long way in helping marquee-signing Billiat settle in at the club (Billiat and Ndoro are teammates for the Zimbabwean national team)
Amakhosi are also short of varied options in attack having sent development products Emmanuel Letlotlo and Yusuf Bunting out on loan to Baroka and The Lions of the North respectively, with young Ryan Moon seemingly third choice behind South American strikers Gustavo Paez and Castro.
This move could help both parties restore their ailing names in the eyes of South African supporters.
5) Lehlogonolo Masalesa:
Following an unfruitful spell in Greece, the former Orlando Pirates midfielder returned home and signed for Platinum Stars. His downward spiral continued as the club got relegated from the PSL.
Only 26-years-old, ‘Viera’ boasts continental experience from his days with the Buccanneers and could do the job at the club given defensive midfielder Katsande’s tendency to blow hot and cold on any given day.
He recently parted ways with Stars after their drop to the NFD, with a number of PSL teams said to be vying for his signature.
Photo: Gallo Images
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