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OPINION: Kaizer Chiefs need big-name signings

Posted: 23 June 2015 Time: 11:11

If Kaizer Chiefs’ press conference on June 2 was a journalist’s dream, today’s gathering left them wondering why they bothered getting into the traffic to drive to Naturena.

In the first presser Amakhosi surprised and shocked with the departures of star players like Khune, Mashamaite and Masango, and club chairman Kaizer Motaung accusing the players of holding the club to ransom, this one merely confirmed what everyone already knew. 

As one reader tweeted, “Was press conference necessary why not announce that on their website or tweet @Kaizer_Chiefs.”

In fact, the only surprising bit of news to come out fo the presser was news that Matthew Rusike was heading to the Portuguese top-flight. Safe to say no-one saw that coming.

But let’s take stock of where this morning has left Chiefs and their new coach Steve Komphela.

Over and above the above-mentioned trio that have departed, the club also parted ways with experienced players like Katlego Mphela, Siyabonga Nkosi and Josta Dladla.

Those are six players with a proven track record in the PSL. What have they been replaced with?

Lucky Baloyi returns from a loan spell at Moroka Swallows, where he started 26 League games as the Birds got relegated. Will he push current midfielders like Reneilwe Lesholonyane, Willard Katsande or George Maluleka? No.

Bongani Ndulula completed his protracted move from AmaZulu, the other team which got relegated. But he’s hardly what you would call a prolific striker, having netted 21 goals in his 100 League games since making his debut six years ago.

The same goes for Camaldine Abraw, who netted a paltry seven goals for Free State Stars in his two years at the club. 

Sure, both Ndulula and Abraw will benefit from playing in a team where they get more more and better supply from midfield, but one suspects there may be some more Kingston Nkhatha treatment on its way from the stands.

In the back Chiefs have added Daniel Cardoso, the 26-year-old defender from Free State Stars, and their ‘marquee signing’ Siyanda Xulu from FC Rostov.

Yes, Xulu is a hugely talented player, but let’s remember he has not set foot on a pitch in six months and made just 24 starts in three years in Russia.

Basically, what is missing a big-name signing … someone like Sibusiso Vilakazi or Rivaldo Coetzee for instance. The five new signings, with the exception of Xulu, are effectively squad players rather than someone who will walk into the first team.

Bobby Motaung has promised one or two more acquisitions before the season starts. Kaizer Chiefs fans will be hoping for a bit more excitement than was delivered today...

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