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Hlatshwayo and Hotto: Orlando Pirates officially sign ex-Bidvest Wits duo

15:15 SAST 2020/09/21
Dr Irvin Khoza of Orlando Pirates
The two players were heavily linked with the Buccaneers soon after the Students confirmed the sale of their PSL status in June

Orlando Pirates have officially announced the acquisition of former Bidvest Wits duo Thulani Hlatshwayo and Deon Hotto. 

The two players had been heavily linked with a switch to the Sea Robbers for months now, and even after media reports suggested that they had put pen to paper, Pirates remained silent. 

Welcoming both Hlatshwayo and Hotto, club chairman Dr Irvin Khoza said: "We are pleased to welcome Thulani [Hlatshwayo] and Deon [Hotto] to the club.

"These are two players who have a proven pedigree both at the club and international level and we are confident that they will complement the team that we have assembled.

"I must thank all those who were involved in the negotiations."

Hlatshwayo, a self-confessed Pirates supporter, joins his boyhood club as an experienced PSL campaigner with over 300 professional matches under his belt. 

He is seen as the last piece of the puzzle that will complete the Bucs defence alongside his long-time friend and club captain Happy Jele. 

The Sea Robbers have struggled in the heart of the defence for years since the retirement of Lucky Lekgwathi. 

They tried to solve their leaky defence by bringing in players such as Marcelo Caio, Asavela Mbekile and Alfred Ndengane but things didn't go according to plan. 

In recent months, Ntsikelelo Nyauza did fairly well alongside Jele but with Tyson now on board, things are expected to change for the better. 

Hlatshwayo's no-nonsense defending and his eye for goal makes him an asset to Josef Zinnbauer's squad.

He also boasts leadership skills after captaining the Students for six years and Bafana Bafana for the past three years.   

Meanwhile, Hotto is seen as direct competition for Innocent Maela, who has had to double up as a left-back and wing-back this past season. 

However, Zinnbauer could opt to use the 28-year-old in a more attacking role after he proved to be a nuisance to opposition defences during his time with Wits. 

The Namibia international also has an eye for goal and at one stage, he was amongst the league's assist kings.

Hotto's arrival means attacking players such as Luvuyo Memela and Paseka Mako will have to up their game because he's an experienced player with lots of qualities.