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Why did Orlando Pirates sign Martin, were they blinded? - Vilakazi

10:00 PM GMT+4 15/12/2022
Craig Martin, Cape Town City, November 2022
Orlando Pirates icon Benedict Vilakazi has made it known that he is not convinced by the club's new signing, Craig Martin.
  • Martin has joined Bucs after spending just over five years with City
  • The 29-year-old is known for his versatility and explosive speed
  • Vilakazi believes Pirates made a mistake by signing Martin

WHAT HAPPENED? The speedy right-back-come-winger was snapped up by the Buccaneers from Cape Town City last week as the Soweto giants reinforced their squad. 
Martin, who spent five-and-a-half years with City, will be registered with the PSL by Pirates when the mid-season transfer window opens next month.
Pirates' all-time leading scorer with 58 goals, Vilakazi strongly believes that Martin is not good enough for Bucs having scored 13 goals from 84 starts in the PSL for City. 

WHAT DID VILAKAZI SAY?: “Craig Martin? Not a Pirates man. Maybe he will prove me wrong but from what I know of him at Cape Town City, he’s not a player for Pirates," Vilakazi told This Is Football.

“I don’t know, maybe Pirates have been blinded by signing him but I don’t think he’s good enough for Pirates.“I still don’t understand how Pirates went for him because sometimes we always say clubs look at stats, but in his case [Martin], Pirates failed to check his stats," he continued. 

“It also costs the team big time in terms of decision-making from those who should be checking such crucial things.“I still don’t believe he’s good enough for a big team like Pirates. The stats are an issue and they are there to show. It’s impossible that he can cheat the stats," he added.

“Me I don’t understand what Pirates were looking for in signing Martin. Are they looking for a right-back? I don’t know!“Maybe he was bought to provide some much-needed competition for [Monnapule] Saleng on the right wing. I don’t know. Unless the coach is thinking of changing his system."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martin, who made eight league appearances for City this term without scoring, is likely to offer competition for Thabiso Monyane and Bandile Shandu in the right-back position at Pirates.
The Cape Town-born player will also be an option in the right-wing position with Saleng being Bucs coach Jose Riveiro's first-choice right winger at the moment.
Thembinkosi Lorch, Ntsako Makhubela and Collins Makgaka are some of the players who can also operate as right wingers at the Houghton-based giants.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR MARTIN? The former Hellenic FC player will be unavailable for selection when Pirates face Mamelodi Sundowns in a PSL match on December 30.
Martin will only be eligible to play competitive matches once he is registered with the PSL next month.