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Orlando Pirates' mid-season report card: Assessing the Buccaneers' new signings

14:01 EAT 26/11/2022
Miguel Timm, Orlando Pirates, November 2022
The Soweto giants signed nine players for the current campaign including Azola Matrose who was quickly loaned out to Chippa United

Orlando Pirates' bid to end a long wait for the Premier Soccer League title saw them being very active in the transfer market.

They brought in nine players who have experienced different fortunes so far in this 2022/23 season under coach Jose Riveiro.

But of the nine, Azola Matrose was sent back to Chippa United on loan.

A few months after arriving, the new signings were on the podium lifting the MTN8 title in a term that looks promising for them.

GOAL takes a look at how the new arrivals have so far performed.

  • Nkosinathi Sibisi, Orlando Pirates, October 2022

    Nkosinathi Sibisi - 8/10

    The former Golden Arrows captain has proven to be a big catch by Pirates and has started all their 13 Premier Soccer League games.

    Sibisi has been instrumental in defence, a department that has vastly improved after seasons of trying to fix it.

    Their improvement at the back can be partly attributed to the arrival of Sibisi.

  • Tapelo Xoki, Orlando Pirates, November 2022

    Tapelo Xoki - 6.5/10

    Not much of a regular but Xoki has established himself as a trusted pillar at the back.

    When Pirates offloaded Ntsikelelo Nyaula and let team leaders Happy Jele and Thulani Hlatshwayo go, Xoki arrived with a lower profile than those three and there were doubts about him from some sections of their fans.

    But he has proved to be a defensive rock in a team that has conceded seven goals in 13 league games.

  • Bienvenu Eva Nga, Orlando Pirates, August 2022

    Bienvenu Eva Nga - 5/10

    The Cameroonian scored on debut for Pirates in their first game of the season and he was touted as the next big thing to happen to their strikeforce.

    But he faded away and quickly fell out of favour with Pirates fans who boo him whenever he takes to the pitch.

    Eva Nga is now struggling for game time after a flying start that made some to predict he would be the highest goalscorer this season.

  • Kermit Erasmus, Orlando Pirates, October 2022

    Kermit Erasmus - 8/10

    The 32-year-old returned to Pirates on transfer deadline day from Mamelodi Sundowns and immediately charmed the Buccaneers fans again.

    Feared to be rusty due to a lack of game time at Masandawana when he arrived, Erasmus has instead added some fire to Pirates' attack.

    The experienced forward has formed a formidable partnership with Monnapule Saleng and has three assists in four league games plus a goal in three MTN8 outings.

  • Miguel Timm Orlando Pirates.

    Miguel Timm - 8/10

    Another big signing by Pirates who deserve a high rating, Timm has become a key player in central midfield since arriving from Marumo Gallants.

    His impressive performances earned him a Bafana Bafana call-up at 30 years old this November and Hugo Broos has made it clear that Timm has a future in his team.

  • Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, Orlando Pirates, October 2022

    Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo - 7/10

    Ndlondlo was a surprise signing but is showing his class at Pirates with solid performances.

    The diminutive midfielder did not have to wait to acclimatise after arriving from Marumo Gallants as Riveiro quickly threw him into the deep end.

  • Evidence Makgopa of Orlando Pirates.

    Evidence Makgopa - No rating

    Makgopa is yet to feature in any official match for Pirates due to injury and he only played in the Carling Black Label Cup

  • Sipho Chaine, Orlando Pirates, October 2022

    Sipho Chaine - No rating

    Former Chippa United goalkeeper Chaine was another deadline signing who came in to replace Wayne Sandilands.

    Usually on the bench, he is yet to play any competitive game for Pirates.