How have Orlando Pirates' new signings fared thus far?

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Goal takes a look at how the 10 players have fared thus far this season and runs the rules over them

The 2018/19 season first round which saw Orlando Pirates assert themselves as one of the contenders for the PSL title is done and dusted.

The Soweto giants had been one of the busiest clubs during this year's South African winter transfer window strengthening their squad ahead of the current campaign.

Ten players including Brazilian defender Caio Marcelo were brought in by the Buccaneers as they looked to mount a serious challenge for the most coveted trophy in the country, the PSL title.

Goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo, defenders Abel Mabaso, Asavela Mbekile, midfielders Ben Motshwari, Linda Mntambo, Paseka Mako, forwards Kudakwashe Mahachi, Meshack Maphangule and Vincent Pule were all signed by June 2018.

Some of these players have made a good impression at the Houghton-based side between August and December.

Goal takes a look at how the players have fared thus far this season and runs the rule over them:


 GOALKEEPER


Brilliant Khuzwayo, Orlando Pirates, October 2018

Brilliant Khuwayo - YET TO FEATURE

The experienced goalkeeper was arguably Bucs' marquee signing when he joined the four-time PSL champions as a free agent after parting ways with Kaizer Chiefs.

Khuzwayo, who won two league titles with Chiefs, is yet to make his official debut for the club having picked up a long-term injury during the team's pre-season preparations.


 DEFENDERS


Asavela Mbekile, Orlando Pirates

Asavela Mbekile - JURY IS STILL OUT

The defender-come-midfielder also joined Pirates a free agent after leaving Mamelodi Sundowns and he struggled to for game time in his first few months with the team.

Mbekile, 32, managed to break into the Bucs starting line-up in early November and he has since made seven appearances helping the team reach the Telkom Knockout Cup final as a right-back, but he is yet to justify why the team signed him.

Abel Mabaso - MISS

Mabaso is another player, who can play both in defence and midfield, having joined the Buccaneers from Chippa United where he had impressed during the 2017/18 season.

The 27-year-old player found it difficult for him to break into the team's starting line-up in his first few months with the club, before making two appearances in the Caf Champions League, but he has made only one appearance in domestic competitions.

Caio Marcelo - JURY IS STILL OUT

The Brazilian central defender secured a deal with the Soweto giants after impressing Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic and his technical team while on trial in early September.

Marcelo, 20, has shown glimpses of his potential in the nine appearances that he has made for the team, but he still needs time to adjust and to understand the PSL in his first spell outside his home country.
 


 MIDFIELDERS


Orlando Pirates new signings

Paseka Mako - HIT

The former South Africa international is another player, who was snapped up by the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup runners-up from Chippa United ahead of the current season.

Mako, 24, has proved to be a useful utility player having excelled in the left-back and left-wing positions while making 18 appearances in all competitions for the Buccaneers, and he has proved to be a good signing so far.

Linda Mntambo - HIT

The childhood Pirates fan saw his dream come true when he was signed by the club from Chippa United where he had impressed.

Mntambo, 29, has mainly been used as a backup for Xola Mlambo in midfield, but the hard-working midfielder has produced some good displays whenever he was given a chance to showcase talent having scored twice thus far.

Ben Motshwari - HIT

Motshwari, 27, was one of Pirates' top new signings having joined the club from Bidvest Wits where he had played an important role in helping the team clinch the 2016/17 PSL title.

The box-to-box midfielder cemented his place in the Bucs starting line-up and he was preferred ahead of the club's reigning Player of the Year, Musa Nyatama before he sustained an injury in November which has kept him out for over a month now.
 


 FORWARDS


Kudakwashe Mahachi, Orlando Pirates, August 2018

Kudakashe Mahachi - JURY IS STILL OUT

The Zimbabwe international moved to Pirates from Mamelodi Sundowns following a successful three-year loan spell with Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Mahachi, 25, is another player who has shown glimpses of his quality for the Buccaneers having made six appearances in all competitions, but the likes of Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch and Thabo Qalinge have been preferred ahead of him thus far.

Vincent Pule - HIT

Pule joined Pirates as a free agent after snubbing Kaizer Chiefs following a successful stint with Bidvest Wits where he helped the team win three major competitions.

The 26-year-old attacker has undoubtedly been one of the best signings of the season having scored five goals in 17 domestic matches and he is a key player in the star-studded Bucs side which is eager to end the team's five-year trophy drought.

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Meshack Maphangule - MISS

Maphangule was also liked with Kaizer Chiefs before he joined Pirates on a free transfer after deciding against extending his contract with Black Leopards.

The 27-year-old attacker has made several appearances in both local and international competitions, but he yet proves himself having failed to find the back of the net for the Buccaneers.

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