Who is Kaizer Chiefs target Gustavo Paez?

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Amakhosi look set to sign Gustavo Paez but who is the Venezuelan born Italian trialist and what does he have to offer?

Steve Komphela’s chargers will be hoping for an improved performance in the second half of the season after the first round of the 2016/2017 campaign brought about indifferent results. In an effort to bolster their attack, Kaizer Chiefs look set to sign Paez as they prepare for the resumption of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

The Venezuelan has been on trial with the Glamour Boys for at least a month and looks to have impressed the Chiefs technical team. Paez, however, is a completely unknown quantity to the South African game and the jury will be out whether he will cut it at Naturena.

The 26-year old may hold Italian citizenship due to the fact that both his parents were Italian but was born in Venezuela. The former Venezuelan youth international would be regarded in football circles as a football nomad, having played for a number of teams in the South American region as well as clubs in the lower divisions of Europe.

The forward can play on either wing but has never really found a club he could call home. This has mainly been one of the reasons, according to the South American media, as to why he has never been able to fulfil his potential. Following short stints in Europe’s lower leagues such as Serie D, Segunda B and the Slovenian league, the striker returned home to Estudiantes de Merida before being released by the Venezuelan club.

The South American’s goal to game ratio does not make for healthy reading, particularly if you are a Chiefs fan. Paez has only managed 19 goals in 143 appearances since starting his career. Although, if one looks at the PSL’s more prolific imports off late, players such as Mamelodi Sundowns Colombian striker Leonardo Castro or SuperSport United’s Jeremy Brockie, they were not the most highly regarded attackers either.

Nonetheless, what the former Mallorca B player does possess is pace. Combine that with typical South American flair and you have a player that would usually win the adoration of PSL fans.

The question is whether Paez will succeed if he’s thrown into the deep end from the get go or will Komphela ease him in?  A move to the Amakhosi could make or break the Venezuelan’s career. It would not harm him to learn from ex-teammate at Deportivo Lara and someone who is familiar with South African football in Jose Antonia Torrealba. Torrealba played for both Sundowns and Chiefs in two different spells in South Africa and set the PSL alight with his energy and work ethic.

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The Soweto giants need a proven goalscorer after going on one of their most barren runs in front of goal earlier this season.

The Kaizer Chiefs faithful would surely welcome a new exciting face, but is this risk the best option? Steve Komphela can only hope that Paez is the answer to all his troubles at the helm.