Kaizer Chiefs have already identified several departments that need reinforcements ahead of next season after yet another dry season, but they will have to be smart in the transfer market.
Their defensive frailties were badly exposed on more than three occasions towards the end of last season, and Kaizer Motaung said their main objective will be to get more defenders.
But is that the only department where Chiefs look thin? Goal takes a look at what the Soweto giants need and what Steve Komphela will need to add to what he already has at his disposal to be successful in the upcoming campaign.
NO MORE DEFENDERS
As much as it was clear that their defensive wall needed competition, Chiefs don’t really need to sign more defenders to solve this problem.
Komphela would end up having players he would not even use, and that could defeat the purpose of creating a healthy environment for everyone. He surely doesn’t want to work with players who are demoralized.
He already has two players per position in defence, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Kgotso Moleko as his right full-backs, Tsepo Masilela and Sibusiso Khumalo on the left as well as Eric Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso, Lorenzo Gordinho and now Teenage Hadebe as his centre-backs. There are also a few youngsters such as Siyabonga Ngezana and Sibongiseni Ngcobo, who are yet to be given a chance.
Also, Philani Zulu, who recently joined them on a free transfer after leaving Maritzburg United, is capable of playing as a full-back, although he’s more of an offensive player, which will also give the technical team enough options in the final third.
So, it was smart of them not to sign Malian defender Mahamadou Traore, because he would have had to settle for a place on the bench just like Ivan Bukenya, who eventually left the club without really stamping his authority – somehow Chiefs learnt their lesson witht the big Ugandan utility player.
CREATIVE MIDFIELDERS ARE A MUST-BUY
Over the past two seasons, Chiefs were more concerned about not conceding goals, and focused very little on finding someone who can help create goalscoring chances.
Joseph Molangoane came to the party soon after he was signed, and hardly put a foot wrong. Siphiwe Tshabalala also chipped in with some important goals when the team was struggling to find the back of the net, but that’s all Chiefs had last season as George Lebese had to play second fiddle to Edmore Chirambadare, who hasn't really settled down at the club.
They need a creative central midfielder, and their idea to have a look at Zimbabwean midfielder Tanaka Chinyahara was spot on, although it looks like he wasn’t the player they were looking for.
Of course the position needs someone who’s more established, comfortable and can be able to cope with the pressure that comes with playing in front of the intimidating yet more demanding Amakhosi fans week in and week out.
George Maluleka is doing well under circumstances, but he is not scoring much which makes it impossible for Chiefs to penetrate through the middle when their wingers are closed down.
KOMPHELA NEEDS PROVEN GOALSCORERS
Lewis Macha, Siphelele Mthembu and Camaldine Abraw are all on their way out, while Bernard Parker can no longer guarantee at least 15-20 goals per season. This leaves Chiefs with only Gustavo Paez as their trusted striker.
Emmanuel Letlotlo and Ryan Moon are still learning, and for them to be able to produce the required goals, they will need someone very lethal and experienced to look up to.
The last striker to raise the bar really high for Chiefs was Knowledge Musona. Collins Mbesuma is yet to be matched by any of the strikers Chiefs signed over the past decade.
Locally, it doesn’t look like they will get that striker, and if they don’t find that one or two proven goalscorers, then Amakhosi fans can expect the repeat of last season - chances will be created but no one will be converting them on a regular basis.
Chiefs need goals to win matches, and possibly trophies. This simply means investing more on quality offensive players to achieve their objectives.