Pirates’ January transfer requirements

Goalkeeping

Pirates presently boast a wealth of experience between the sticks, with Siyabonga Mpontshane, Jackson Mabokgwane and Wayne Sandilands having all represented Bafana Bafana previously, while Brilliant Khuzwayo has earned his stripes at AmaZulu and Kaizer Chiefs. The latter has yet to earn his club debut, making it needless to leap into the market in search of other options.

Verdict: No need to add to this department.

Defense

With the fourth best defensive record in the league, Milutin Sredojevic won’t be too stressed regarding the output of his backline, although 12 goals conceded in 15 games may well be of some concern. Happy Jele has been the only constant at the back, which is perhaps why The Buccaneers have kept only four clean sheets in the league thus far. Caio Marcelo, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Gladwin Shitolo and Marshall Munetsi have all partnered alongside him, while former Bloemfontein Celtic stalwart Alfred Ndengane is also on the verge of stepping in. They are also not short of fullback options, with Mthokozise Dube, Innocent Maela, Asavela Mbekile, Thabo Matlaba, Abbubaker Mobara, Abel Mabaso and Diamond Thopola all capable of stepping in.

Verdict: No need to add to this department.

Midfield

Once again, Pirates have a wealth of quality and experience at their disposal in the middle of the park, both defensively and in attack. Musa Nyatama, Xola Mlambo and Ben Motshwari seem to be holding it down in the holding midfield positions, while Linda Mntambo and Thabiso Kutumela have started knocking on the door behind Thembinkosi Lorch and Justin Shonga’s central attacking roles. Out wide they have Vincent Pule, who is being pushed by Kuda Mahachi, Thabo Qalinge and Luvuyo Memela, while Mpho Makola, Augustine Mahlonoko and Meshack Maphangule also fancy their chances of game-time.

Verdict: No need to add to this department.

Striking

Perhaps this would be the only area in which Bucs' technical team may be looking to bolster their options, having scored just 19 goals in their 15 league games thus far. Augustine Mulenga has been their biggest threat up front with two goals from 10 league starts. Thamsanqa Gabuza threw himself out of the reckoning with his emotional outburst back in August, and only recently made a cameo appearance against African Stars in Namibia. Monaco-bound Lyle Foster is being protected ahead of his proposed switch this month and has yet to feature for the first team this season. For a team looking to compete for the title, the Soweto side may need to bring in a proven marksman.

Verdict: One or two options to challenge Mulenga.

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