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Questionable depth and quality: Do Kaizer Chiefs still need to sign more players?

11:03 GMT+3 02/08/2019
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp, April 2019
Amakhosi have had to let go of too many good players since in 2015, but they haven't done enough to refresh the squad. Do they need to sign more?

Five untested players in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are all Kaizer Chiefs managed to sign so far in this transfer window,  but do they still need more? 

Over the past four years, Amakhosi were criticised for not doing enough in the transfer market, but things look a bit better this season as the management went all out to get the five new players. 

While the number is far less compared to the transfer dealings of the likes of Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits, one could say Chiefs didn't need a squad overhaul to bring back the glory days. 

However, this will be the first PSL season for Samir Nurkovic, James Kotei, Kereayn Baccus and Lazarous Kambole while Yagan Sasman is coming from National First Division.

This means the five abovementioned players will require time to adapt before Chiefs can get the best out of them. 

Coach Ernst Middendorp is faced with the challenge of delivering the goods and fixing the mistakes of past coaches. 

In all honesty, Chiefs haven't had a strong spine in a long time, and they failed dismally to refresh their squad with quality players over the years.

Unlike Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, their closest rivals, Amakhosi have been reluctant to dig deep into their pockets and get the players the majority of their fans have been crying out for. 

Khama Billiat was their only marquee signing last season and he did all he could to show Chiefs that he was the man to solve their problems, especially upfront, by contributing 14 goals. 

Chiefs also have the likes of Leonardo Castro, Dumisani Zuma, Siphelele Ntshangase, and George Maluleka whom, on their day, can do a lot in helping the team win matches. 

But the three players have struggled with consistency. Perhaps something Chiefs should look at when signing new players. 

As things stand, Middendorp doesn't have a core he can build his team around for the new season, except for the players that have been there long before him, such as Bernard Parker, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Willard Katsande.

Evidently, the Chiefs goalkeeping department looks very thin without Itumeleng Khune, and while the medical team is trying hard to bring him back this season, the management should have done their job in that regard by bringing in an experienced, quality player.

Take nothing away from Daniel Akpeyi, but he's error-prone and not reliable at all for a team of Amakhosi stature, and Bruce Bvuma is still learning. 

This lack of depth in that department alone could hurt Chiefs, especially if Khune doesn't recover soon from his shoulder injury.

There are more problems in the Amakhosi than meets the eye. 

Middendorp has tried different combinations, but it doesn't look like he's getting it right with Daniel Cardoso, Erick Mathoho, Siyabonga Ngezana, and Lorenzo Gordinho as his centre-backs. 

This would remind many of Steve Komphela's struggles when he came in to replace Stuart Baxter. 

Tefu Mashamaite had just left, and it took time for Komphela to get the Gordinho-Mathoho partnership kicking. For now, Middendorp isn't sure who his best centre-back pairing is and this could prove costly to the team. 

Katsande is an experienced campaigner and he is been doing well for Chiefs for five to six seasons now - he needs to be rested, but then again resting him when the team doesn't have a player of his calibre as a replacement could be a recipe for disaster. 

Upfront, Castro should be given enough game time to get his groove back, but Middendorp appears to be having less faith in him, meaning the Colombian striker could find himself playing second-fiddle to Kambole or even Nurkovic. 

All these problems must be solved as soon as possible if Chiefs are to consistently get positive results in the new seasons, but they can only to achieve that if they sign more players who wouldn't need weeks or even months to understand the culture of the team and the coach's philosophy. 

With the transfer window still open, the Amakhosi management should go all out and bolster these positions with more quality and depth, and not wait for too long because if they do, they could be in for another tough season.