Orlando Pirates' new signings a threat to Mamelodi Sundowns' PSL dominance - Makhanya

Thulani Hlatshwayo, South Africa, July 2019
The Buccaneers announced their first major signings ahead of the 2020/21 PSL season and a club legend shares his thoughts on the acquisitions

Former Orlando Pirates winger Joseph Makhanya says the signing of defender Thulani Hlatshwayo and midfielder Deon Hotto can help the Soweto giants break Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Pirates announced the signing of Bafana Bafana captain Hlatshwayo and Namibia international Hotto from the now-defunct Bidvest Wits as coach Josef Zinnbauer kicked off his transfer business.

The pair’s arrival is expected to add more steel to the Buccaneers’ defence as well as widening Zinnbauer's attacking options.

“I must say those are good signings as of now. They are players with experience of PSL football for a very long time,” Makhanya told Goal.

“Tyson [Hlatshwayo] is also captain of our national team. With the renewal of Happy Jele’s contract, we are going to see a formidable combination which is something we needed.

"We did not happy something like a solid defence so Tyson and Happy Jele in central defence I think Pirates will be strong.

“I am also hoping the acquisition of Hotto will add the fire-power upfront. I think we are now left with signing a goalkeeper to assist [Wayne] Sandilands.

"The central defence position is an area which was more problematic for Pirates but I hope things will improve now.”

Hlatshwayo comes in at a time when Pirates’ defence conceded the highest number of goals - 29 - in the PSL top five last season.

With Sundowns having won the league title five times since 2014, Makhanya feels Pitso Mosimane’s team's dominance can be ended.

“Yes [Pirates can challenge Sundowns after the new signings]. We have seen Mamelodi Sundowns dominating South African football for the past three or four seasons,” said Makhanya.

“It is about time for teams like Chiefs and Pirates to start challenging Sundowns. Those are teams that are big to challenge Sundowns. They should sign players big enough to compete against Sundowns.

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“We can’t have one team ruling the PSL, for the past years and the next five years or so. We are talking about big teams there so they should be able to challenge Sundowns.”

It is yet to be seen which other additions Zinnbauer will opt for as he builds a squad for the upcoming season.