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COMMENT: Hadebe's departure should open door for Gordinho at Kaizer Chiefs

11:47 EAT 13/07/2019
Lorenzo Gordinho Kaizer Chiefs
Gordinho hasn't been popular since his return from Celtic, but he has the chance to return to the Amakhosi setup now that Hadebe has left for Turkey

On Friday, Kaizer Chiefs announced Teenage Hadebe's departure to Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor. 

While this move leaves a gap in the Amakhosi defence given Hadebe's contribution last season, it also opens a previously closed door for Lorenzo Gordinho. 

This means Chiefs don't really have to go into the transfer market to look for a new centre-back to fill the void left by Hadebe. 

In Gordinho, the Soweto giants have an equally capable centre-back, who can come in and make their defence tick again. 

Gordinho spent a year out on loan at Bloemfontein Celtic in 2017 and 2018, and Chiefs tried in vain to bring him back at the start of last season as the Free State-based outfit refused to let him go. 

Then Ernst Middendorp came in toward the end of 2018, replacing Giovanni Solinas, who sacked after 21 games, and Gordinho was brought back as Chiefs looked desperate to add beef to their defence. 

At the time, Chiefs struggled to find a centre-back pairing, and when they eventually did, they lacked consistency and the team continued to give away cheap goals. 

Middendorp didn't give Gordinho as much game time as the majority of fans hoped, especially after making it clear to Celtic they needed the player to return to Naturena. 

At the time, Chiefs had Erick Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso, and Hadebe as their preferred centre-backs and perhaps Middendorp found it difficult to dismantle his combinations in order to accommodate Gordinho. 

However, Gordinho is a tried and tested defender who understands the environment at Chiefs, and being reduced to a benchwarmer didn't sit well with the club supporters who knew what he could offer the team. 

Middendorp handed Gordinho two starts - and the defender only finished one match, which proved Chiefs didn't really need him as much as they claimed. 

But with Hadebe now gone, Gordinho certainly has a fair chance of becoming a regular in the team. 

It was soon after the departure of Tefu Mashamaite in 2015 that Gordinho and Mathoho formed a solid partnership in the heart of the Amakhosi defence, and perhaps there are positives out of Hadebe's move to Europe.

This because there were reports in recent weeks that Chiefs were looking to offload him ahead of the new season with his agent, Mike Makaab, saying Gordinho would stay at the club, for now, raising eyebrows on whether or not the technical team really believe in the defender.

However, with Hadebe now gone, Middendorp needs to look no further than Gordinho.   

Apart from his unquestionable commitment to the club in terms of his defensive capabilities, the stats show Gordinho can offer more to Chiefs than Hadebe did.

Without comparing the two defenders who certainly possess different qualities, Gordinho has goals in him which is an added advantage for him to return to the setup. 

In his 64 matches for Chiefs before leaving for Phunya Sele Sele, Gordinho had contributed seven goals, and for a team in a rebuilding phase, it would prove vital to show faith in the 25-year-old than to sign a new player who will take time to familiarise himself with the team.