Victor Letsoalo: What does the future hold?

Victor Letsoalo, GOALGOAL
  • Victor Letsoalo Royal AMbackpagepix

    Amazing season

    The 2021-22 campaign saw Victor Letsoalo put himself in the conversation as one of the best South African strikers as he found the back of the net with ease in the PSL. The South Africa international was Royal AM's most influential player in the club's impressive debut season in the local top-flight having been directly involved in 17 of the 43 goals they scored in the league.

    Royal had purchased Bloemfontein Celtic's top-flight status just before the season began and the club relocated to Durban with Letsoalo among the players who were kept by the team management. Thwihli Thwahla ended their fairytale campaign in third place and they qualified for next season's Caf Confederation Cup with Letsoalo also helping the team reach the Nedbank Cup semi-finals. 

  • Victor Letsoalo, Bafana Bafana, November 2021Backpagepix

    The story of last season

    Letsoalo came into this campaign brimming with confidence having played an instrumental role in helping South Africa clinch the 2021 Cosafa Cup and he was able to carry his scoring form to Royal. The man also better known by his middle name Sepana hit the ground running in the new season - scoring in five successive matches in the PSL between September and October last year including a brace as Thwihli Thwahla embarrassed Kaizer Chiefs by claiming a 4-1 win. However, Sepana endured a five-match goal drought in the league in November 2021, while also failing to score for Bafana in their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign despite making five appearances in the qualifiers. However, the lethal marksman rediscovered his scoring form towards the end of the year - scoring three goals in his last four league matches of 2021.

    Sepana began the year 2022 by turning out for an Amabutho side which lost their two matches in the PSL mid-season tournament, DStv Compact without scoring. However, the Royal penalty specialist was the only player who was able to come near Mamelodi Sundowns' goalscoring machine Peter Shalulile in the race for the PSL Golden Boot award. Letsoalo continued to score goals for Thwihli Thwahla after the turn of the year and he hit form in April - propelling the team to the Nedbank Cup semi-finals by scoring five goals in three matches - including a brace against the University of Pretoria in the quarter-finals, but he was unable to help Royal avoid a defeat to Sundowns in the semi-finals. Sepana wrapped up his campaign with a goal in their 3-2 defeat to Sundowns in the league clash on May 23. 

    The gifted marksman ended the season with 17 goals from 31 matches across all competitions for Royal including two in the Nedbank Cup. The Ga-Molepo-born player was the highest-scoring South African player in the PSL with only PSL Footballer of the Year Shalulile netting more goals than him in the elite league. However, Letsoalo was dropped from the Bafana squad ahead of their 2023 Afcon qualifier against Morocco wIth national team head coach Hugo Broos stating that it is because Sepana's 'main contribution' in terms of goals during the season come from the penalty spot. Seven of the 17 goals that Letsoalo scored were from the penalty spot.

  • Victor Letsoalo, Royal AM, April 2022Backpagepix

    Any transfer rumours?

    Letsoalo was involved in probably the biggest transfer story of the season with Chiefs having identified him as a target prior to the start of the 2021-22 season with Amakhosi strikers Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic nursing long-term injuries. However, Thwihli Thwahla managed to retain their most prized asset's services coming into the campaign, but his scoring exploits during the first round of the term attracted interest from other clubs with Orlando Pirates said to have inquired about the player's availability ahead of the 2022 January transfer window. Chiefs looked to be in pole position to sign Sepana, but they couldn't reach an agreement with Royal over the player's transfer fee.

    This led to Royal AM chief executive officer Sinky Mnisi saying striker Letsoalo “is a Rolls-Royce” and Chiefs should not table an offer worthy of a “Mazda 323” if they are keen on the player. Letsoalo ended up staying put at the KwaZulu-Natal side and he continued to be linked with the two biggest football clubs in the country Chiefs and Pirates as he maintained his scoring form for his side without being distracted by the reports and rumours about his future. Newly appointed Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane admitted that he would prefer signing Letsoalo over then-Chippa United striker Bienvenu Eva Nga due to the style of play that he will be using at the Naturena-based giants.

    Reports linking the former Baroka FC star with Chiefs or Pirates have quietened down following the end of the 2021-22 season. However, Chiefs have released Castro and Nurkovic and they are known to be currently shopping for centre forwards, while Pirates have signed Eva Nga and Evidence Makgopa as they reinforced their striking department. It wouldn't come as a surprise if Amakhosi renewed their interest in Letsoalo with the South African transfer window only due to open next week Friday and run until the end of August this year. However, Pirates cannot be ruled out from making a move for the player.

  • Victor Letsoalo of Royal AM challenged by Cole Alexander of Kaizer ChiefsBackpagepix

    One big fear for 2022/23

    Continuing to rely on goals from the penalty spot. Letsoalo needs to improve his finishing from open play. Sepana has proved to be a mobile striker who tends to use his explosive speed to exploit fast transition phases from defence to offence which leads to him getting into goalscoring positions. He just needs to improve his finishing in order to become an even better striker.

  • Victor Letsoalo, Royal AM vs Kaizer Chiefs, December 2021Backpagepix

    One big hope for 2022/23

    For him to move to a bigger club having flourished at the so-called smaller clubs Celtic and Royal. At the age of 29, Letsoalo is at the peak of his career having established himself as one of the best South African strikers and he deserves to be playing for a big club which is challenging for major otrphies. 

  • Victor Letsoalo Royal AMbackpagepix

    GOAL’s prediction for 2022/23

    Whether Sepana stays at Royal or moves to a bigger PSL club he will score goals next season. If he just needs to improve his finishing and he will be able to reach Shalulile's level with the Namibian star being among the best strikers based in Africa.