The arrival of nine new players at Mayfair could spell the end of a number of Orlando Pirates players’ careers, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
The 25-year old forward was snapped up by Pirates from Free State Stars prior to the start of their worst-ever season, the unforgettable 2016-17 campaign.
Upon signing a three-year-deal with the club, he stated his ambition to be the club’s top-scorer for two consecutive seasons, however with only 12 appearances and one goal under his belt (mostly as a substitute) Nkosi wasn’t given the opportunity fulfil his promise.
Looking at the current set-up at Pirates, the hierachy doesn’t favour Nkosi, with Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga, Thamsanqa Gabuza and young Lyle Foster getting the nod ahead of him.
Much like fellow teammate, Mpho Makola, the discussion regarding whether Pirates should retain the former Free State Stars defender’s services is a hotly-contested one.
On his day, there is no denying his quality, we’ve bared witness to this countless times for Bafana Bafana and Pirates in the past, but based on performances over the last two seasons or so – one cannot deny that there has been a serious decline in his influence in the squad.
He is a member of the Bucs old guard, who infamously won back-to-back trebles, so he has a wealth of experience, but does he have a role in the new set-up?
Statistically speaking, the 2017-18 season was “Festival’s” worst at the club (21 matches played, one goal scored and one assist), his previous worst being the 2014-15 campaign, where he amassed the same amount of games, but registered more assists (2) and scored more goals (3).
The most definitive factor behind Matlaba’s exit from Pirates would be his role, or lack thereof in the new side.
His versatility would no doubt help his cause, however he faces stiff competition all over the park, whether it be at centre-back, centre-mid or left-back.
The Senegalese defensive-midfielder played a total of six games under coach Milutin Sredojevic last season, mostly appearing as a second-half substitute.
When coach Micho was chopping-and-changing midfielder’s to partner alongside Musa Nyatama during the early stages of their 2017-18 campaign, Sarr was hardly called upon, so it would come as no surprise if the former Chippa United man were to leave.
Based purely on his work-ethic and the fact that he brings a different attacking dimension to Pirates from the wings, he could actually remain part of the squad, however in the same breathe, his ability to blow hot and cold could be the deciding factor.
Last season, he showed moments of brilliance as seen when he almost single-handedly downed Ajax Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup, however inconsistency remains his biggest problem.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder arrived with much expectance and fanfare from Chippa United at the start of the 2017-2018 campaign, however he struggled to cement his spot at Pirates making only three league appearances since his arrival at the Parktown based outfit.
Last season coach Micho alluded to Sangweni’s absence from the matchday squads stating that the former Ajax Cape Town midfielder needed to work harder to win a place in the teams starting XI.
Pirates are spoilt for choice in the engine room where Sangweni operates and having bolstered their squad with the additions of more central-midfielders in Asavela Mbekile, Abel Mabaso and Ben Motshwari – if Sangweni’s doesn’t shape up at Pirates during pre-season, expect him to be shipped out of the Pirates camp.
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