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Phumudzo Manenzhe pins Orlando Pirates' goal-scoring hopes on Tshegofatso Mabasa

18:51 BST 09/07/2019
Tshegofatso Mabaso, Bloemfontein Celtic, August 2018
The ex-Bucs attacker believes the former Phunya Sele Sele striker could be key for the Houghton-based outfit next season

Former Orlando Pirates striker Phumudzo Manenzhe is excited by the club’s business in the transfer market.

However, he lauded the club’s acquisition of one player in particular, Tshegofatso Mabasa, who joined the club from Bloemfontein Celtic.

The striker was amongst a number of players who were unveiled by the club ahead of the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign, and Manenzhe singled out Mabasa as a player capable of answering Pirates' goal-scoring problems.

Last season, Pirates fell short in a number of games as they fired blanks in front of goal, and perhaps had they had a prolific goalscorer during the 2018/19 PSL season their trophy drought could have ended.

“I am happy with the new signings, but you look at the past two seasons in terms of a target man [Thamsanqa Gabuza] that we’ve had at the club, he was not producing the goals,” Manenzhe told the media.

“You now get a Tshegofatso Mabasa who I am very happy with.

“He plays well with his back to goal. He’s very powerful aerially. He’s very mobile and coming in at Orlando Pirates with 10 goals, I think he will work well. He’ll be able to hold up the ball and bring in the likes of Vincent Pule and [Thembinkosi] Lorch into the game, which is what Pirates were missing."

Furthermore, expectations will high for the 22-year-old but Manenzhe is adamant Mabasa will succeed, despite his predecessor’s previous struggles at the club.

“Ten goals last season in all competitions already sends you a message. We are not bringing in somebody because of hope, we are bringing in somebody because what he has delivered in the past season," Manenzhe added.

“It’s very rare to find a left-footed striker, it brings that element into the Orlando Pirates team. He has a very powerful shot on him, if you let him term he can hurt you. He holds up the ball well."