Cele backs Mlambo to succeed with the Buccaneers
JOHANNESBURG - Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Andile Cele believes Xola Mlambo is the class of player that can bring back the glory days to the club. Pirates signed Mlambo in January from Bidvest Wits, with the midfielder going on to make his Sea Robbers debut as a substitute in the recent 2- 1 win over Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium.
‘Ten Ten’ was exceptional in forming a tight- knit combination with Thabang Monare in the first half of last season, but an injury derailed his progress which saw Wits recruit Granwald Scott this time last year.
This season, Mlambo, who was named Man of the Match in a Telkom Knockout victory on December 2 against Bloemfontein Celtic, fell out of favour with coach Gavin Hunt and only made seven appearances in all competitions prior to his exit from Sturrock Park.
At Bucs Mlambo has reunited with an old friend in Thamsanqa Sangweni, who he impressed alongside in the engine room for Chippa United when the Chilli Boys finished in the top eight for the only time in 2015/ 16. Cele, who won the Castle Premiership in 2001/02 under Roy Barreto at Pirates, backs Mlambo to bring value to the trophy-hungry Buccaneers.
“I feel Pirates have been missing players like him in recent times because after the Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa combination was gone I felt there was a scarcity in terms of quality,” Cele tells KickOff.com.
“I think Xola will provide more stability with Musa Nyatama to bring back the glory days. Players of Mlambo’s class are the type Orlando Pirates used to sign because Pirates was used to players who are very good on the ball
“Players who can create the attacks, not only players who mark, but players who can kick-start actions from defensive areas. So he’s what Pirates need and I’m not so sure why he was not playing at Wits.
“But he’s a very good player on the ball. I feel Musa Nyatama came late at Pirates. I feel he could have come earlier in terms of his career and I like him a lot. Even when at Maritzburg United I liked him, at Mamelodi Sundowns I liked him, at Bloemfontein Celtic I liked him. “But I feel Xola will provide more stability. Pirates is used to players who are dynamite, with skills.