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Goal senior writer Ernest Makhaya looks at the possibility of Thamsanqa Gabuza becoming the main man in the Pirates' attack next season

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By Ernest Makhaya

Following media reports that Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza may be released by the club at the end of the season, the former Golden Arrows player responded with a brace during the Buccaneers' friendly game against United FC on Tuesday.

Gabuza, who joined the Sea Robbers on a three-year deal earlier this season, has failed to command a regular place in the team and he continues to be on the sidelines with the likes of Lennox Bacela, Helder Pelembe and Kermit Erasmus getting more game time ahead of him.

The 26-year-old Ladysmith-born player was on the wanted list of Abafana Bes'thende during the January Transfer Window, but he couldn't move due to his relationship with the management at the Durban club.

Coach Vladimir Vermezovic said is still assessing the current squad before deciding who to work with next season, but will Gabuza ever be trusted to lead the Buccaneers' front line?

He used to be the player everyone admired during his first few seasons in the PSL, but peharps moving to a big club like Pirates, where expectations are too high, wasn't a wise decision after all.

Gabuza did feature rarely for Arrows the previous season, scoring four goals in the process. But is his finishing more lethal than that of Lennox Bacela, and maybe more consistent than both Pelembe and Erasmus?

There's also Lehlohonolo Majoro in the picture. It is no secret that the former Kaizer Chiefs striker is tipped to be the central attacker in the team next season, ahead of any of the strikers mentioned above.

Gabuza is seen mainly as a target man than a supporting striker, and having suggested that he is not as prolific, then he would definitely continue to warm the bench until the end of his "marriage" with Pirates.

There's no doubt that he's a talented lad, and I strongly believe that he could have been among the leading goalscorers in the league this season, if he played for a different team.

However, next season could be different for Gabuza, but whether he will survive the chop or he will leave the club depends on the amount of work he puts in, and the number of goals he scores this season.

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