• Manyama is that ‘missing something’ that Chiefs needed

    Kaizer Chiefs new signing Lebogang Manyama

    If you weren’t convinced of Kaizer Chiefs’ title credentials after the marquee signing of Khama Billiat, then the Amakhosi’s acquisition of Lebogang Manyama should sway your thinking, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.

    The Amakhosi faithful were sent into a frenzy after the club’s excellent business in the transfer window continued with the signing of former PSL Footballer of the Year Manyama.

    ALSO READ: Chiefs confirm Manyama signing

    Hours later, Chiefs further bolstered their squad by securing the services of former Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United defender Mario Booysen from Ajax Cape Town in a bid to patch up their rather leaky defence.

    ALSO READ: Chiefs confirm Booysen capture

    ALSO READ: Why Chiefs signed Booysen, Manyama

    Chiefs’ other signings include goalkeeper Virgil Vries, defender Letlhogonolo Mirwa and midfielder Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana. However, the arrivals of the two former PSL Footballers of the Year in Billiat and Manyama have Chiefs fans licking their lips in anticipation.

    ALSO READ: It’s a dream come true – Manyama

    And why not? Chiefs have not exactly fit the bill of being title contenders based on the performances of their first four Absa Premiership games, which failed to see them register a victory, picking up a mere three points out of a possible 12 in clashes against Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Baroka and Maritzburg United.

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    Giovanni Solinas bemoaned Chiefs’ fixture congestion, in addition to calling for patience – suggesting that the Chiefs faithful should not expect him to win the league title in his first season with the club, as the likes of championship-winning coaches in Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt could not do so.

    A ploy on the part of the former Free State Stars manager, perhaps? But Chiefs subsequently succeeded in sending out a signal of intent to both fans and rival teams in the league.

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    As opposed to previous unfruitful campaigns, the club actually analysed and addressed their major problems. Daniel Cardoso’s horrendous own goal against Baroka characterised the flaws in the Chiefs defence, forcing the club to rope in lanky central defender Booysen.

    ALSO READ: Five things learned from Chiefs loss to Wits

    Prior to Manyama’s unveiling, I published a two-part feature about five players Chiefs should sign and at the summit of the list was none other than Manyama. The Naturena-based outfit have been missing a player of Manyama’s calibre for the better part of a decade.

    ALSO READ: Five players Chiefs could do with (Part 2)

    With due respect to Siphiwe Tshabalala – he has been Chiefs’ go-to guy in terms of assists since his arrival, but was never the most prolific goal-scorer. His best goal-scoring run in the PSL saw him find the back of the net seven times in the 2010-11 and 2016-17 seasons.

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    By signing Manyama, not only did the club get a sought-after Bafana Bafana international, but his presence will ease the pressure from some of his teammates. The likes of Hendrick Ekstein, Siphelele Ntshangase, Billiat, Leonardo Castro, Gustavo Paez and Ryan Moon will greatly benefit from Manyama’s creativity and keen eye for goal.

    Billiat’s move to Chiefs hogged all the headlines due to its magnitude and the clubs involved, but (and you can hold me to it) the signing of Manyama will prove to be just as important.

    ALSO READ: Five things learned from Chiefs’ draw against Baroka

    Manyama might have turned down the opportunity to join the Amakhosi four years ago, but his signing now could arguably not have come at a better time with Chiefs in dire need of the final piece of a puzzle to the masterpiece that is Solinas’ dynamic attack.

    ALSO READ: Why Manyama snubbed Chiefs in 2013

    Whether it be the trio of Billiat, Manyama and Castro or Billiat, Manyama and Paez – what is evident is that the star-studded duo of Billiat and Manyama are at the centre of Chiefs’ title aspirations this season.

    Photo: Kaizer Chiefs’ Twitter account


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