COMMENT: Are Orlando Pirates done in the transfer market?

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Gallo
The Buccaneers have been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market, but is it time for them to close the cheque book?

The end of the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign saw Orlando Pirates delve into the transfer market to make a few interesting signings.

The Soweto giants brought in nine new players for the campaign which will see them participate in five major tournaments, including the Caf Champions League.

Bucs snapped up Brilliant Khuzwayo (Kaizer Chiefs), Abel Mabaso, Paseka Mako and Linda Mntambo (all Chippa United), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Golden Arrows), Meshack Maphangule (Black Leopards), Asavela Mbekile (Mamelodi Sundowns), and Ben Motshwari and Vincent Phiri (both Bidvest Wits).

Brilliant Khuzwayo of Kaizer Chiefs

Khuzwayo's arrival has reinforced the Pirates goalkeeping department which was a cause for concern last season.

Wayne Sandilands, Jackson Mabokgwane and Siyabonga Mpontshane all featured for Bucs as Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic searched for a permanent first-choice goalkeeper. 

Sandilands and Mabokgwane hardly impressed despite being given a fair chance by Micho, and Mpontshane got the opportunity to stake his claim as the club's first-choice goalkeeper in the second half of the season. Mpontshane managed to cement his place in the starting line-up.

Many expect Khuzwayo, who is one of the top keepers in the country, to walk straight into the starting line-up and make the number one spot his own.

However, he will face good competition from Mpontshane, while the presence of the other keepers means Bucs have enough depth in that department and don't need to add more shot-stoppers.

Orlando Pirates

Utility players such as Mbekile, Mako and Mabaso can play both in defence and midfield, which is vital for Bucs heading into the 2018/19 season. 

Mbekile can operate as a full-back and a central midfielder, Mabaso plays centrally while Mako is a left wing-back.

However, the team's defence still needs to be beefed up with a quality central defender, especially with Happy Jele slowly losing pace. 

Jele was one of Bucs' key players as the team mounted a serious challenge for the PSL title - marshalling the team's backline in style. He was partnered with Gladwin Shitolo, Ntsikelelo Nyauza among others as Micho searched for the right partnership. 

Pirates are known to be looking to sign Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, who is one of the best centre-backs in the country.

His arrival would ease the workload on Jele, and at 28, Hlatshwayo would be a great investment with the South Africa captain having led Wits to the league and cup double during the 2016/17 campaign.

Bidvest Wits, Ben Motshwari

The midfield is probably Bucs' strongest department with club having snapped up Motshwari, Maphangule, Mahachi and Mntambo, not forgetting Mabaso and Mako.

The abovementioned players can only bring out the best in midfield regulars such as Musa Nyatama, Luvuyo Memela, Thembinkosi Lorch and Xola Mlambo.

The Buccaneers have been linked with several strikers, but the decision to keep Thamsanqa Gabuza could prove to be a good one, especially on the continent as the experienced striker tends to deliver in Caf club competitions.

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Zambian forwards Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga both caught the eye last season and they are guaranteed starters.

Thabiso Kutumela was starting to show signs of improvement, before he sustained a long-term injury last February. He will be hoping for a breakthrough in the new season. 

Pirates' highly-rated striker Lyle Foster will also be hoping for the same thing which can only create healthy competition in the striking department.

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