Did Ben Motshwari and Xola Mlambo's departure to Orlando Pirates make Bidvest Wits weaker?

Mlambo and Motshwari return to their former stomping ground with the stakes ever so high, will they be the difference makers?

Bidvest Wits v Orlando Pirates is a fixture that could potentially decide the fate of either side’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) title ambition, but it is also a reunion of sorts.

Players such as Xola Mlambo - should he be deemed fit after missing the clash against Mamelodi Sundowns, and Ben Motshwari, return to Bidvest Stadium, a place they once called home.

This brings about an air of excitement, but at the same time, questions are continually asked about whether or not Wits regret losing the duo.

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It is evident that the midfielders have made a name for themselves at Bucs, becoming regular starters and perhaps even fan favourites.

Ben Motshwari of Orlando Pirates tackles Gift Motupa of Bidvest Wits, August 2018

This is the recognition that neither player truly experienced at the Students. Both were bit-part players often utilised sparingly, but it is at Soweto giants where they are reaching their potential.

Mlambo in particular always showed great potential but it is only at the Houghton-based outfit where fans are seeing just what he is capable of.

The same could be said about Motshwari, although to a lesser extent as he was more than just a rotational player.

Aside from his final season where he made just nine league games, the 28-year-old featured regularly for Wits.

However, to say that Motshwari and Mlambo’s departure has weakened Wits is up for deliberation.

While they were not always in the first team, Gavin Hunt enjoyed quality depth to choose from.

Xola Mlambo and Ben Motshwari PS

The club though had other impressive midfielders such as Thabang Monare, Daylon Classen and Cole Alexandra among others, and this could explain their decision to let Motshwari join Bucs after letting go of Mlambo in January of 2018.

But while the duo’s arrival has signalled new life into Pirates, they have not necessarily weakened Wits.

What has happened though is Pirates have become more of a force to be reckoned with and with Wits slowly falling by the wayside as fatigue begins to creep in, Bucs are counting on their numbers to take them over the line and continue the fight.

Players like Motshwari and Mlambo could be just the players that could make the difference not only in the league title race but also on their return to Braamfontein on Saturday.