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Is Hotto Orlando Pirates’ most important player?

22:18 GMT+4 10/02/2022
Deon Hotto Orlando Pirates
The Namibian international forward was at it again in the Sea Robbers’ most recent match when he scored in the 1-0 Nedbank Cup win over AmaZulu

Deon Hotto has been among Orlando Pirates’ standout performers these last two seasons.

It’s not that Pirates don’t have much talent upfront or in the attacking midfield department.

But injuries, loss of form and a lack of consistency among the club’s other attack-minded players has left Hotto – more a winger than a striker, as arguably Pirates’ most important forward.

A look at the stats suggests this is the case, when one analyses the Bucs attacking department. Worryingly, for Pirates fans and management, is that the numbers don’t make for impressive reading.

In terms of league goals, the top scorers are:

4: Hotto and Kwame Peprah

3: Linda Mntambo

2: Tshegofatso Mabasa, Goodman Mosele, Bandile Shandu, Collins Makgaka

A handful of players have chipped in with one goal apiece.

Mabasa also has a goal in the Caf Confederation Cup, while Hotto netted in the Nedbank Cup – the other players listed above have not scored in cup competitions.

What helps Hotto stand out further, apart from top scoring with five goals, are his five assists this term.

That gives him a direct goal involvement of 10.

The next best in terms of goal involvements are:

4: Makgaka (two goals, two assists), and Peprah (four goals)

3: Mntambo and Mabasa (three goals, zero assists), Mosele (two goals, one assist)

With around half the season gone, those numbers are not as high as they should be for a team of Pirates’ calibre, and they do reinforce Hotto’s status as Pirates’ go-to man.

Pacey and direct, the goal the 31-year-old scored against AmaZulu last weekend was a quality strike and showcased all of his assets.

The Namibian international contributed with 10 assists and seven goals in all competitions last season for the Buccaneers as well and has proven to be one of their best signings in recent times.

He’ll be looking to add to this season’s tally when the Sea Robbers meet with Saoura in a Caf Confederation Cup match on Sunday.