Kwame Peprah: What does the future hold?

Kwame Peprah, GOALGOAL
  • Kwame Peprah Orlando Pirates 2022.Backpagepix.

    Makusu replacement arrives

    When Kwame Peprah joined Orlando Pirates from Ghana's King Faisal in July last year, he was seen as a direct replacement for Congolese striker Jean-Marc Makusu who had failed at the Soweto giants before returning to DR Congo's AS Vita after his loan deal expired. There was no club success for the Ghanaian striker in his debut season in South African football.
    Pirates were unable to seriously challenge for the Premier Soccer League championship and they finished sixth in the competition - failing to qualify for one of the Caf club tournaments with Peprah having had a slow start to life at the Houghton-based giants.

    The Ghanaian striker didn't feature for the Buccaneers as they were eliminated from the MTN8 in the first round, but he made two appearances in the Nedbank Cup with Bucs being knocked out in the Last 16. However, the former Ghana under-23 international was a key player for the Buccaneers as they reached the Caf Confederation Cup final where they lost to Morocco's Berkane. 

  • Ahmed El Tribi of Al Ahli Tripoli challenges Kwame Peprah of Orlando Pirates, May 2022Backpagepix

    The story of last season

    Affectionately known as Phephandaba (newspaper in isiZulu) or Breaking News to Pirates fans, Peprah had to wait until November last year to make his first start for the Buccaneers when they lost 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby clash. Prior to that, Phephandaba was mainly used as a substitute by Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids as they gradually introduced him to the team and he finally opened his scoring account in December last year when he grabbed a brace to inspire Bucs to a 2-1 win over Marumo Gallants after being handed a rare start. The bulky player was in top form as he grabbed another brace to ensure that the Buccaneers ended the year 2021 with two successive wins when they edged out AmaZulu FC 2-1. 

    Phephandaba was part of the Warriors side which won the PSL's mid-season tournament, the DStv Compact Cup, but he made just one appearance in the competition. Upon his return to Pirates, Peprah endured a four-match goal drought before scoring and providing an assist as the Soweto giants hammered Eswatini's Royal Leopards 6-2 in the Confederation Cup game in February this year. A week later he scored Pirates' consolation goal in their 2-1 loss to Chiefs and the defeat sparked Bucs' inconsistent run of results with Perprah failing to score in eight matches in a row. Breaking News then netted a crucial goal for the Buccaneers as they defeated Simba of Tanzania in the Confederation Cup in April this tear and as a result, Bucs reached the semi-finals where they overcame Libya's Al Ahli 2-1 on aggregate to reach the final. 

    The promising player was in good form towards the end of the season - scoring in two of his last three matches, but he couldn't help Bucs avoid a defeat to Berkane in the Confederation Cup final. Peprah netted nine goals and provided one assist from 38 goals across all competitions for Pirates in what was his debut season in a foreign country. This made him the Buccaneers' joint top scorer for the season having netted the same number of goals as his teammate Deon Hotto. Breaking News then stated that he deserves a call-up to the Ghana senior national team, the Black Stars. 

  • Kwame Peprah, Orlando Pirates, April 2022Backpagepix

    Any transfer rumours?

    Peprah's exploits in both local and international competitions didn't go unnoticed as the 21-year-old was said to have attracted interest from an unnamed Greek club just after the recent campaign came to an end. The European outfit reportedly made a bid which was rejected by the Buccaneers. It was also believed that the Soweto giants had slapped a €500,000 price tag on the player which is around R8,5 million. It is further said that former King Faisal vice-captain remains on the radar of several European clubs with the South African transfer window set to open on Friday which means Pirates could still sell Phephandaba if they get the right offer.

    Pirates have already signed two centre forwards in Bienvenu Eva Nga and Evidence Makgopa from Chippa United and Baroka FC respectively ahead of the 2022-23 season, while also being in talks with Royal AM over the services of Bafana Bafana striker Victor Letsoalo. The Buccaneers could be preparing for life without Peprah with the four-time PSL champions expected to make decisions regarding their foreign quota as the Houghton-based giants currently have seven immigrant players on their books following Cameroonian marksman Eva Nga's arrival at the club.

    Bucs' foreign players are Peprah, Eva Nga, Ghana international Richard Ofori, Nigeria's Olisa Ndah, Namibian star Hotto, Terrence Dzvukamanja of Zimbabwe and Zambian winger Austin Muwowo whose contract will expire on June 30. Each PSL club is allowed to register five immigrant players per season. Despite Eva Nga's imminent arrival at Pirates and reported interest in his services from Europe, Peprah has made it known that he is in no rush to leave the Buccaneers. Phephanda's current contract with Pirates is set to expire in June 2024 with the club having reportedly paid $150,000 for his services (R2,4 million) when they purchased him from King Faisal and he signed a three-year deal with Bucs.

  • Kwame Peprah Kabelo Dlamini Orlando Piratesbackpagepix

    One big fear for 2022/23

    The arrival of Eva Nga and Makgopa could affect Peprahs game time at Pirates if he stays for the upcoming term.  The Breaking News struggled when played alongside another centre forward Tshegofatso Mabsa or Zakhele Lepasa during the recent campaign, but he excelled when leading the attack as a lone striker. His inability to flourish when partnered with a fellow centre forward could see him lose his place in the team. 

  • Thembinkosi Lorch Kwame Peprahbackpagepix

    One big hope for 2022/23

    For Peprah to improve his link-up play and first touch. Phephandaba was let down by his first touch quite often in the recent term - leading to some of Bucs' attacking moves being interrupted which annoyed his teammates due to his failure to link-up play in the final third. The hard-working player tends to time his runs into the opposition's box well and his shooting is good while also using his imposing physique to bully opposing defenders. The only thing missing from his game is a good first touch and combination play, but once he perfects or improves these he will develop into a top-class centre forward. 

  • Kwame Peprah Orlando Piratesbackpagepix

    GOAL’s prediction for 2022/23

    The first season with Pirates was all about adaption for Peprah who will now be streetwise in the PSL coming into the upcoming campaign - knowing how to exploit the opposition's defences with his sharp movement, imposing physique and well-timed runs into the box. If the Breaking News improves his first touch and combination play, he will stand a good chance of reaching double figures in terms of goals scored while also adding assists to his game in the process.