The transfer window has closed. Football Manager Bobby Motaung reviews the comings and goings at Kaizer Chiefs. “We met our objectives during this transfer window period. We identified our needs based on the team’s performance last season. And not only did we focus on the performance of the side and the individual players, we also looked at building a team for the future.”
Several players left the team for an assortment of reasons. “We had to let go of a number of players,” confirms Motaung. “Some became surplus to requirements, because they didn’t feature much in terms of game time, while other decisions were mutually beneficial. It is pointless at times to keep a player, who, despite his immense talent, can’t command a regular place in the side.
“Edmore Chirambadare, William Twala, Keagan Buchanan and Sibusiso Khumalo couldn’t break into the team for a variety of reasons,” explains Motaung, while highlighting the talent of the quartet.
“It was different with Brilliant Khuzwayo. We had to abide by his wish to move on. Brilliant served the club very well, but he requested to be released and we didn’t want to stand in his way.” The goalkeeper subsequently joined arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.
“Tsepo Masilela has done great for us over the years,” continues Motaung, while referring to Kaizer Chiefs’ long-time left-back. “Tsepo won several trophies with us, but his contract came to an end – it was a tough decision, but we had to weigh things up and decided not to renew his contract. It was not an easy decision.”
Motaung reiterated the club’s commitment to their youth development structures by stressing, “Yusuf Bunting and Emmanuel Letlotlo are future prospects. If you look at our present frontline, you can see stiff competition for places. That’s why we decided to loan them out, to get game time and, with it, gain experience at the highest professional level, the Absa Premiership.”
Bunting and Letlotlo are on a season-long loan to respectively Highlands Park and Baroka FC.
On Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala’s move to Turkish outfit BB Erzurumspor, Motaung says, “Shabba is not only a Kaizer Chiefs legend. He is an esteemed national icon. Tshabalala served the club and the South African national team with dignity. He deserves an overseas move. We are happy for him and wish him well.”
The exit of a number of players needed replenishing and some positions required bolstering.
Amakhosi went for the jugular by announcing the signing of the Zimbabwean international and former Mamelodi Sundowns marksman, Khama Billiat. “We are glad to have succeeded to bring Khama to Naturena,” Motaung enthuses. “He’s a rare talent and for him to choose Chiefs over a possible move overseas is humbling. Khama and the other new signings join us at a time when we want to return to winning trophies.”
Motaung emphasised, “We will not put pressure on the team. We will allow the team to settle first, in the knowledge that coach Giovanni Solinas is also new.”
Chiefs roped in Lebogang Manyama from Turkey. “Lebo is one player we always wanted to sign,” comments Amakhosi’s Football Manager. “He ticks the boxes and fits well in our set-up.”
Namibian Virgil Vries, Ugandan Godfrey Walusimbi, Mario Booysen and Letlhogonolo Mirwa complete the new arrivals section. “Virgil was brought in to compete with Itumeleng Khune, while Mario will help our defensive unit. Godfrey is an experienced left-back, while Mirwa is a youngster with the potential to grow into the full-back position.”
The Football Manager also commented on the progress of finalising the signing of the attacking midfielder Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana from Madagascar. “Dax is still work in progress. The process of signing him is ongoing and should be resolved soon. We are optimistic that we will conclude the matter.”
Motaung also gave an update on Lorenzo Gordinho. “He remains on loan at Celtic and is expected back at the end of his loan term in January. We are monitoring him and are happy to see him play regularly at Celtic.
“The transfer window is a regulatory process. If we identify a need or an extraordinary talent becomes available, we won’t hesitate to pull all stops to bring him to Naturena.”
“We would like to thank all the players that have left,” Motaung concludes. “We wish them all the best in their new endeavours. As for the new arrivals, we wish them a successful stay. At Chiefs, we give the players a platform to express their talents, build legacies and become icons.”