Deon Hotto: What does the future hold?

Deon Hotto, GOALGOAL
  • Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, November 2021Backpagepix

    Hotto’s mixed bag campaign

    The 2021-22 term saw Deon Hotto build on his displays from the previous season which was his debut campaign with Orlando Pirates. With key players such as Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule sidelined by injuries, Hotto stepped up his performances while operating in several areas including left wing-back and left-wing - demonstrating his versatility in the process. However, the man nicknamed the Hot Hot Hotto couldn't inspire the Buccaneers to glory with inconsistency proving to be the team's downfall. 

    Pirates were eliminated from the MTN8 in the first round, before being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup in the Last 16 with the Hot Hot Hotto being an ever-present for Bucs in the two cup matches. Bucs also endured a disappointing PSL campaign - finishing sixth in the competition and failing to qualify for one of next season's Caf club tournaments in the process. Hotto and his Bucs teammates had a chance to end the term with a piece of silverware, but the team was beaten by Berkane of Morocco in the Caf Confederation Cup final.

  • Njabulo Ngcobo of Kaizer Chiefs challenges Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates.Backpagepix.

    The story of last season

    Despite Pirates' poor start to the campaign failing to win their first three competitive matches which included a defeat to Swallows in the MTN8, Hotto was one of Pirates' better players - finding the back of the net with a stunning free-kick in a 2-2 draw against Stellenbosch FC which earned him the PSL Goal of the Month award for August/September 2021. However, the Namibia international blew hot and cold for the next couple of months with the Buccaneers suffering defeats to Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, and Bucs never looked like potential PSL title contenders. 

    The month of November 2021 saw Hotto hit form - grabbing a brace to help Bucs secure an emphatic 3-0 win over Stellenbosch in the second league clash before providing assists as the Buccaneers overcame TS Galaxy and AmaZulu in the following month - the Soweto giants ended the year 2021 on a high. The Hot Hot Hotto began 2022 by scoring the only goal of the match when the Soweto giants defeated AmaZulu 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 match, but the team was eliminated by defending champions Marumo Gallants in the next round of the South African FA Cup.  

    The former Bidvest Wits star remained Bucs' most influential attacker with Pule and Lorch missing with injuries - grabbing a brace against SuperSport United in March this year to inspire the four-time PSL champions to a 3-2 win. Despite scoring in two of Pirates' last three PSL games of the season, the Soweto giants missed out on a top-three finish in the league. Even though he failed to score a single goal in the 2021-22 Confederation Cup, the Hot Hot Hotto was the team's most creative player in the continental competition - providing five assists as the Buccaneers reached the final where they lost to Berkane on penalties. 

    Hotto ended the season with nine goals and 10 assists from 44 matches across all competitions - making him Pirates' top scorer and most creative player. 

  • Deon Hotto and Peter ShalulileBackpagepix

    Any transfer rumours?

    There are no rumours or reports presently suggesting that Hotto could leave Pirates this winter having established himself as one of the club's best players and demonstrated why he is said to be among the highest-paid players at the Houghton-based giants. He had joined the club in a big-money transfer from Wits at the end of the 2019-20 season amid interest from Sundowns. The Hot Hot Hotto is also one of Pirates' most prized assets and it would be understandable why they would be reluctant to sell the talented left-sided player who has been plying his trade in South Africa since 2014.

    The former Lamontville Golden Arrows star was linked to an unnamed European club last year after he helped Namibia avoid a defeat in their first four matches in their 2021 Afcon qualifying group which included reigning African champions Senegal, but the rumours cooled down. If there is one local club which can prize Hotto away from Pirates it is Sundowns who were previously interested in the player. Hotto's experience in continental competitions and his special delivery from set-pieces would come in handy for Masandawana as they look to clinch the Caf Champions League title, the trophy they want the most.

    Furthermore, Hotto has a telepathic understanding with Sundowns' hitman Peter Shalulile which saw the duo play a vital role in helping Namibia qualify for the 2019 Afcon finals. With the duo playing together at Masamdawana, they would surely tear apart the opposition's defences and propel the team to success on the continent and even locally. It is one of the reasons why Sundowns were desperate to sign Hotto two years ago before they lost out to Pirates in the race to sign the former Bloemfontein Celtic star having established himself as one of the top wingers in the country at Wits.

    However, Pirates are highly unlikely to sell to a direct rival as they look to go compete with Sundowns for the PSL championship and other local competitions next season. The Hot Hot Hotto is currently contracted to the Buccaneers until June 2023.

  • Deon Hotto Orlando Piratesbackpagepix

    One big fear for 2022/23

    Finishing in front of goal is Hotto's main weakness in his game and it tends to frustrate Pirates fans. Hotto could have easily been in the race for this past season's PSL Golden Boot award had he taken his chances in front of goal which ultimately led to Bucs dropping points.

    This left frustrated Bucs fans with the speedy player's displays at times and once the club's supporters turn against a player it adds a lot of pressure to perform. This could even lead to loss of form and being relegated to the bench. So the Swakopmund-born player has to improve his finishing in order to avoid unnecessary added pressure on the pitch.

  • Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, November 2021Backpagepix

    One big hope for 2022/23

    For Hotto to be consistent. There was a period when the Bucs set-piece specialist was blowing hot and cold during the recent campaign. If the Hot Hot Hotto could add consistency to his game then he can surely take his game to another level and also be nominated for the PSL Footballer of the Season and other top accolades. 

  • Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, February 2022Backpagepix

    GOAL’s prediction for 2022/23

    The 31-year-old's ability to stay injury-free is one of the reasons why he has flourished at Pirates thus far as injuries tend to break up the player's momentum. If Hotto continues to stay injury-free in the new term, he will surely better his stats from the recent campaign having missed just one of the Bucs' last 60 league matches.