With Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates set to renew their rivalry in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup on Saturday, their fans have been wondering if they have signed good enough players to take them into the new season.
This weekend’s Soweto Derby will see both sides unleash their new signings, although there could be more surprises before the transfer window closes on August 31.
So far, Amakhosi have made four new additions to their squad in Teenage Hadebe, Bhongolethu Jayiya, Philani Zulu and Dumisani Zuma, while the Sea Robbers have signed Christian Obiozor, Thamsanqa Sangweni and Wayne Sandilands.
Another former Mamelodi Sundowns player Musa Nyatama is on his way to Parktown, with the move set to be completed anytime from now.
But have the two Soweto giants done enough in the current transfer window?
Let’s start with Chiefs, who had a promising season under Steve Komphela but ended up finishing the campaign empty-handed after falling almost at the final hurdle in the league race.
They have been criticized for signing free agents, but unlike in previous seasons, the management has so far been smart as they have reinforced a few departments that looked very thin last term.
Zulu offers a lot both defensively and offensively, and the fact that he plays on the left hand side, means Komphela will be spoiled for choice between George Lebese, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Edmore Chirambadare and the former Maritzburg United player in the final third.
If he prefers to play him as a full-back or wing-back, then he’s more than welcome to do that. Zulu is strong and has got pace. He chips in with some important goals.
Jayiya and Zuma are dangerous and can score goals; something Chiefs lacked in the last two seasons. They had natural strikers in the team, but very few came to the party. The two players also offer creativity in the final third, and they’re not scared to take on defenders and create goalscoring chances for teammates.
If Chiefs want to win trophies, then they need to start scoring goals, and that's where Jayiya and Zuma come in without impacting on the balance of the team.
Not much can be said about Hadebe as he may still need to be afforded time to adapt to life in the PSL.
While he’s a good defender with great defensive qualities, it will take some special for Komphela to dismantle the Eric Mathoho-Lorenzo Gordinho partnership at the back.
This is one of the departments that took Komphela weeks of sweat and tears to put together, and the two towering centre-backs have come to understand each other better.
Chiefs should be happy with what they have at their disposal so far, but they still need at least one more experienced striker who will score goals on a regular basis to be on par with the rest of the teams above them.
They have strengthened the departments that needed revamping without actually keeping the players guessing if their places in the team will be safe in the new season.
There's more competition, and it should be exciting and encouraging for those who were there last season to work even harder to be in the starting line-up.
Pirates on the other hand, needed a squad overhaul to erase last season’s memories and start the new campaign on a clean slate, but four signings are simply not enough.
They need at least six to seven quality players to be able to achieve greater things. They also need to get rid of players who let the team down last season.
Kjell Jonevret should be applauded though, for realizing that the team needed a strong spine before anything else, but they still need to add at least one centre-back since Justice Chabalala is coming back from Chippa United as well as one quality right-back to stabilize that back four.
The Buccaneers have made significant progress from where they were last season in terms of players, but the product is far from finished, and it could take some time for them to compete with the best teams in the league for as long as other departments look thin.
On paper, they have good players, but their fans know and have seen how demotivated their are once they entered the field of play.
More new faces will bring competition and push those who are starting to relax, then all eyes would be on Jonevret to see if he can manage to put together a winning team with all the weapons in his arsenal.