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Abbubaker Mobara in, Thamsanqa Gabuza out: Who should stay or leave Orlando Pirates?

00:55 GMT+4 31/12/2018
Orlando Pirates team, Augsut 2018
Goal takes a look at Bucs players who should be kept and those who should be released ahead of the next transfer window

Orlando Pirates asserted themselves as one of the favourites to win the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title before the current festive break.

Several Bucs players caught the eye in the first round of the current 2018/19 campaign, while some have failed to live up to expectations.

Bucs head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic and his technical team are expected advise the club's management on who should stay or leave the Houghton-based side during the January 2019 transfer window.

Goal takes a look at the players who should stay and leave the club:


Wayne Sandilands

The 35-year-old goalkeeper, who is error-ridden, has fallen out of favour under Micho having made only one appearance which came against Highlands Park in the first PSL match of the season. The ageing shot-stopper is most likely to leave the club next month having been left out of the team's 2018/19 Caf Champions League squad.

Thamsanqa Gabuza

The lanky forward has found it difficult to regain his place in the Bucs starting line-up since the controversy which saw him walk off the playing field after setting up a goal during the team's PSL clash with Black Leopards in August 2018. At 31, age is no longer on Gabuza's side and it is time for the striker to leave the Buccaneers and revive his career at another PSL club.

Diamond Thopola

The 28-year-old right-back has struggled to establish himself since joining the Soweto giants from Chippa United midway through last season. Mthokosizi Dube, Asavela Mbekile and Abbubaker Mobara have all been preferred ahead of Thopola in the right-back position and it would be better for the former Thanda Royal Zulu defender to leave the Buccaneers next month.

Ntsikelelo Nyauza

The versatile defender has been sidelined by injuries this season which have seen him fall down the pecking order in both right-back and centre-back positions. At 28, Nyauza needs regular game time in order to fulfil his true potential and he would be better offer at a PSL club where he would be guaranteed game time.

Phetso Maphanga

The diminutive full-back is another player, who has failed to establish himself at Bucs after joining the club from Chippa United midway through last season. The 25-year-old player has found it difficult to topple Pirates' first-choice left-back Innocent Maela, while Paseka Mako and Thabo Matlaba are preferred ahead of him and Maphanga could be offloaded next month.


Kudakwashe Mahachi

The Zimbabwe attacker joined Bucs from Mamelodi Sundowns with high expectations, but he has found it difficult to cement his place in the Bucs starting line-up. The 25-year-old  winger, who is competing with Vincent Pule for a place in the team, will be more settled after the festive break and he is likely to feature due to injuries and suspensions during what is expected to be a gruelling second round. 

Abbubaker Mobara

The utility player had a slow start to the season as he struggled to cement his place in the Pirates starting line-up with the team doing well. Mobara regained his place in the team towards the end of the first round and he showed his quality, and at the age of 24, the defender-come-midfielder has the ability to become Bucs' first-choice right-back for the next eight years.

Thabo Matlaba

The veteran full-back was transfer-listed at the ahead of the current season, but he stayed and fought for his place in the Pirates starting line-up - making eight appearances. The 31-year-old player remains a reliable backup and experience could be key in the second round which will see the Buccaneers compete in the Caf Champions League, Nedbank Cup and PSL.

Thabiso Kutumela

The 25-year-old striker is yet to make his mark at the Buccaneers since joining the club from Baroka in July 2016 and he was sidelined by a long-term injury at the beginning of the current season. The former South Africa youth international will be given a chance to prove himself in the second round as he has been used as a backup for Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga.


Meshack Maphangule

The versatile forward is in his first season in the PSL having joined Pirates from Black Leopards ahead of the current season and he is yet to prove his quality having made only two league appearances. The 27-year-old player would benefit from a loan spell at another PSL club in the second round.

Augustine Mahlonoko

The teenage attacker showed glimpses of his talent at the beginning of the season after being promoted to the Bucs first team from the club's academy. The 17-year-old player is now struggling to break into the team's starting line-up and a loan move to a club where he would be guaranteed some game-time would help speed up his development while gaining some experience.