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Is Sithebe making a mistake with Kaizer Chiefs, like former AmaZulu teammate Mabiliso?

14:30 GMT+4 04/02/2022
Siyethemba Sithebe of Amazulu and Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates, August 2019
The dread-locked Usuthu attacking midfielder has widely been reported to have signed a pre-contract with the Glamour Boys

It's questionable as to whether Kaizer Chiefs-bound AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe is the sort of player that the Soweto side needs.

Of course the allure of playing for the country's most popular club is understandable.

But it can also be tough to thrive in the spotlight where expectations are so high, and we've seen this season how Sithebe's former AmaZulu teammate Sibusiso Mabiliso arrived with much fanfare, having become part of the Bafana Bafana setup, only for him to struggle to make much of an impact with the Soweto giants.

Competition for places

Chiefs already have some pretty decent options in terms of attack-minded midfielders, including Keagan Dolly, Khama Billiat (who to be fair, also operates as a striker), Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Sabelo Radebe, Kgaogelo Sekgota, Dumisani Zuma, Lebogang Manyama and Happy Mashiane.

And while one or two may end up being released at the end of the season, a number of the players listed above are on long-term contracts or have just signed extensions. Sithebe won’t have it easy to force his way into the starting XI.

Not a mind-blowing record

Stats don't tell you everything, but they do reveal a lot. And when it comes to winning matches, and paying big money for attacking players, goals and assists are important.

In his top-flight career to date, Sithebe's highest goal return for a full season is just three. In total he's played 136 league and cup matches and scored just nine times, with a further nine assists.

Spread over six years, that's one goal every 15 matches. Or one goal involvement every seven-and-a-half games.

It's debatable whether Chiefs need another attacking midfielder who will chip in with only a few goals. What they really need, is a reliable striker who's likely to hit 15 or more goals per season.

There's no doubt he's a good player. But is he better than what Chiefs have, and at 29-years-old, how much room for improvement is there - these are the questions to be asked.

At 22-years-old, Mabiliso does at least still have the opportunity to develop, but for Sithebe, he may just find that the grass is not always greener on the other side and that sometimes, being a bigger fish in a smaller pond, is not a bad thing.

Even more so considering how the ambitious AmaZulu have progressed in the last couple of years.