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Naughty Mokoena: Luvuyo Memela's absence has hurt Orlando Pirates this season

19:33 WAT 13/09/2018
Luvuyo Memela, Orlando Pirates
Goal spoke to the retired central midfielder, who was included in the South Africa's 1998 Fifa World Cup squad

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder William 'Naughty' Mokoena believes that the team has missed Luvuyo Memela.

The attacking midfielder recently recovered from a knee injury which he sustained prior to the start of the current campaign.

Memela, who resumed full training during the recent Fifa international break, was hoping to carry his form from last season into the new term. 

Mokoena feels that the 30-year-old attacker's presence on the field of play will hand Bucs a much-needed boost with the team having endured a slow start to the season.

"Yes, they definitely missed Memela in their opening games of the season," Mokoena told Goal

"Memela is one of those players, who are always looking to make the difference," he continued. 

Memela flourished under Pirates coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic as the Soweto giants challenged for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.

The Cape Town-born player established himself as one of Bucs' key attackers and he scooped the club's Golden Boot award having netted five goals in the league. 

"I am not taking anything away from the new players, who were signed by the club in the offseason," the former South Africa youth and senior international added. 

New Pirates left-winger Paseka Mako, who was signed from Chippa United in June 2018, has enjoyed regular game time under Micho thus far.

However, the 24-year-old player could be sacrificed for Memela, who joined the Soweto giants from Cape Town All Stars in 2015.

"Memela has been part of the Pirates team for some time now and he knows what it takes to be a key player at a big club," he explained. 

"He knows how to deal with the pressure that comes with playing for a club like Pirates and being expected to deliver week in week out," Mokoena said. 

"So, I believe that his return has come as a welcome boost to the team at a time when it really needed him," he concluded. 

Memela is most likely to make his first appearance of the season when Pirates take on SuperSport United in a league game at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.