Big question marks over Kaizer Chiefs' squad as they open season against SuperSport
Three signings‚ none of them ground-shaking‚ and a star forward – however wayward he might have been in his previous season – sold. This after seven dud signings were released in June.
Question marks and more question marks surround Kaizer Chiefs as they open their 2017-18 season with Saturday night’s MTN8 quarterfinal against Nedbank Cup champions SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium (8.15pm).
Philani Zulu from Maritzburg United‚ Bongolethu Jayiya from Cape Town City and Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe from Chicken Inn all appear to have some potential.
But what separates them from any one of Siyanda Xulu‚ Lucky Baloyi‚ Camaldine Abraw‚ Enocent Mkhabela‚ Lewis Macha‚ Siphelele Mthembu or Michelle Katsvairo – the seven players released by Chiefs in this off-season?
Chairman Kaizer Motaung identified his club’s defence as needing strengthening at the end of the past campaign. So why just one 21-year-old‚ unheralded Zimbabwean defender signed?
Why should Amakhosi’s supporters believe that any one or even all three of the new arrivals won’t be retreaded out as flops within the next two years?
With George Lebese – who had an average 2016-17‚ but was still one of the Soweto giants’ few sources of genuine improvisation in a pedestrian frontline – transferred to Mamelodi Sundowns‚ has this Chiefs side who went trophyless in their past two seasons grown stronger this off-season‚ or weaker?
Surely these are too many question marks for coach Steve Komphela to contend with as he enters his third and defining Amakhosi season.
Of course‚ this off-season transfer window still has 19 days remaining. Chiefs may have some bigger deals in the pipeline.
They might hit the ground running as the signs of the second half of last season that Komphela was finding a winning formula‚ and a good preseason‚ culminate in a good victory against SuperSport.
They might be less convincing‚ lose badly‚ and then decide they still need to go into the transfer market further for genuine quality.
In that case‚ when compared to the league champions‚ Bidvest Wits‚ who paraded their new signings 10 days ago‚ and had them mostly tied up by the beginning of the off-season‚ it would seem an all-too familiar back-pedaling approach by Amakhosi’s signing department.
Much will be revealed on Saturday night.