Chiefs, Pirates need to use transfer window wisely
THE JANUARY transfer window period is like a pit stop on a long ride, you can’t dramatically change the course at this stage but you can do something to make the remaining journey smoother.
Clubs that have had a bumpy start will be eager to make the most of this window that opened yesterday and will close at midnight on the 31st.
And the period is not only about making immediate signings. It’s also a time to consolidate for the future.
A number of contracts have six months left on them at this stage, giving clubs the opportunity to speak to those players. More importantly, they can sign them on a pre-contract for next season.
This is a period when when shrewd clubs make huge inroads without spending much, or anything. SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits have excelled in this, the two clubs bringing on board good players who weren’t tied down properly.
Kaizer Chiefs can’t afford to only look at the future with their current situation as bleak as it is. Amakhosi need to sign a prolific striker as the current crop has failed. The club will either have to break the bank to get that striker domestically or look outside the borders. It’s a tricky affair though because they have gone about signing strikers like dynamite fishing. They certainly catch plenty but only a few of them are alive enough to offer something.
The same can be said for Orlando Pirates and their recruiting of goalkeepers lately.
The Buccanneers need to find a reliable No 1 ‘keeper if they are to get something from what has been a bad season.
The league’s top three clubs – SuperSport, Wits and Cape Town City, along with Mamelodi Sundowns – need to use this time to bring in cover rather than make marquee signings. The Brazilians, Matsatsantsa and Clever Boys have strong squads but if they are to balance domestic and continental responsibilities they will need cover, especially since the final stretch of the league race will be congested after this lengthy break.
City have had a bright start with a consistent starting XI. But they need to add cover for some of the stars who have shone for them so that they aren’t exposed when injuries, suspensions and the gruelling schedule ahead takes it’s toll.
It’s at the bottom – where Free State Stars, Highlands Park and Baroka FC reside – that urgent re-enforcements are needed.
Ea Lla Koto will probably continue to unearth gems through the sharp eye of Themba Sithole. But they need to bring calm heads to steer them to a safe place after that massive exodus when the club was up for sale.
The Lions of the North need to beef up their defence that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in the league. Bakgaga also need to shore up at the back, but their technical team is also in need of strengthening. There are reports Mark Harrison will join Baroka as technical director. But in local terms a technical director is normally the guy who will take over when the coach is axed.