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COMMENT: Is Orlando Pirates midfielder Musa Nyatama a strong contender for the PSL Player of the Season award?

09:00 GMT+3 04/05/2018
Orlando Pirates, Musa Nyatama
Goal looks at how the Bucs midfielder performed this season and whether or not he deserves to win the PSL's top player award

When Musa Nyatama secured a dream move to Orlando Pirates from Bloemfontein Celtic, fans had mixed feelings about his arrival at the Soweto giants.

At the age of 30, the midfielder was only expected to be a squad player at the Soweto giants having also failed to live up to expectations during his spell with a big club like Mamelodi Sundowns between 2011 and 2013.

For Nyatama, it was another chance for him to prove himself at a big club especially with a new coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic having made it clear that all players would be given an opportunity upon his arrival in August 2017.

Nyatama started Pirates' first Premier Soccer League (PSL) game of the season which was against Chippa United at the Orlando Stadium last August and he never looked back as he cemented his place in the team's starting line-up. 

The box-to-box midfielder quickly became a key player for Sredojevic's side as a deep-lying midfielder in Bucs' 4-3-3 formation and he was preferred ahead of fellow central midfielders Issa Sarr, and Thamsanqa Sangweni.

As Bucs' midfield general, Nyatama has been able to set the tempo of the team's play, retain possession and also build play from the back through short exchanges. The experienced player has also been effective going forward having netted four league goals from midfield.

His dynamic displays nearly propelled the Buccaneers to PSL glory as the Soweto giants were able to mount a serious challenge for the most coveted trophy in the country, the PSL title, with Nyatama producing man of the match performances consistently.

The Benoni-born playmaker has impressively scooped seven man of the match accolades in all competitions to-date plus one PSL Player of the Month award (for March 2018), as a reward for his consistency and incredible work-rate in Bucs midfield.

Credit should go to Serbian trainer Sredojevic for helping Nyatama unlock his true potential and enjoy his best season in the top flight league. 

Nyatama has not only been the best central midfielder in the league, but one of the most outstanding players this term and he should be a strong contender for the Player of the Season award ahead of this season's PSL Awards ceremony.

He has greatly been responsible for Pirates' revival and his influence should not only be measured on assists and goals, but the ability to play a key role in both defence and attack consistently. There is doubt that Nyatama deserves to be recognised and applauded for his efforts.