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'Mabena a different option for Orlando Pirates' - Mashego backs Buccaneers’ transfer decision

13:23 EAT 23/12/2022
Ndumiso Mabena Orlando Pirates.
Former Orlando Pirates striker Katlego Mashego has joined the debate surrounding the Soweto giants’ move to sign Ndumiso Mabena.
  • Mabena has returned to Pirates
  • At 35 his return has divided opinion
  • Mashego joins the debate

WHAT HAPPENED? The Buccaneers signed Mabena earlier this month as he returned for a second stint at the club he left in 2014. After being regarded as surplus to requirements by Royal AM who were keen to send him on loan to Swallows FC, Mabena was welcomed back by Pirates coach Jose Riveiro.

Signing a 35-year-old who has been struggling for goals in recent seasons has, however, divided opinion but Mashego has thrown weight behind his former teammate. Mashego lists reasons why he feels Mabena “will bring a lot” to Pirates.

WHAT MASHEGO SAID: “Mabena trained with Orlando Pirates for a while, even before they won the MTN8. I’m sure the coach kept a close eye on him, and hence they signed him,” Mashego told ThisIsFootball.

“He is probably a different option to what they currently have. You can’t say that you have many strikers and when someone like Mabena becomes available. He brings a different dimension to the squad that’s why they had to sign him.

“I think they looked it at that way because he brings a different dimension to the team, and he has the experience of winning trophies at Pirates and he knows the team’s culture, he has been there before. They probably looked at his experience, him knowing the team and how he differs from other strikers. He will bring a lot to the team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates forwards have been struggling for goals this season with winger Monnapule Saleng being their leading scorer in their Premier Soccer League campaign with two goals from five games.

They have improved in defence but appear lacking upfront, with the likes of Zakhele Lepasa, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Kwame Peprah, Bienvenu Eva Nga have been finding it tough.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MABENA? Mabena would be hoping to be handed some playing minutes when the Buccaneers resume their PSL campaign with a visit to Mamelodi Sundowns on December 30. He would be keen for a chance to prove that he is the solution to Pirates’ attacking woes.