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Is Mhango's time at Orlando Pirates over, should Kaizer Chiefs rescue him?

5:10 AM EDT 4/18/22
Gabadinho Mhango of Orlando Pirates challenged by Samir Nurkovic and Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs, November 2019
The Malawian international barely makes the match day squads and was not involved at all in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Simba in the Confederation Cup

It's looking less and less likely that Orlando Pirates forward Gabadinho Mhango still has a future with the Buccaneers.

The Pirates management previously came out and explained that Mhango has had disciplinary problems, although at one stage it looked as if he was on the way back into the team, after making a couple of substitute appearances.

But in the last few months, he has seldom even got a few minutes off the bench, bar two cameos in the Caf Confederation Cup.

In total this season, the 29-year-old played only 195 minutes (with no goals and just one assist). He has not played in the league since the Christmas period and has been excluded from seven of Pirates’ last nine league match-day squads. In the other two, he was an unused sub.

On those stats alone, it’s doubtful Mhango has a future with the Sea Robbers.

This all comes at a time in which Pirates are battling to find a clinical finisher - up front they have a bunch of players who are either just not effective in front of goal, or have struggled with injury over the past year.

When that is taken into consideration, and Mhango is still not playing, he must surely be wondering if his future lies elsewhere. His contract does after all expire in two months' time.

But if Mhango does leave Pirates, where will he go? A frequent scorer with Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic, he was also the (joint) PSL top goal scorer with 16 league goals in his first year with Pirates.

He's a proven goal-poacher who when fit and firing, can be almost unplayable for defenders. At a glance, he's just what Kaizer Chiefs need, because just like their Soweto rivals, Amakhosi are short on profitable strikers.

It would be quite a shock if Chiefs move for Mhango. It's not an impossibility though. For one thing, the player might accept that Amakhosi would be handing him a career lifeline and therefore might not push for an overly big salary.

In terms of a transfer, he'll be a free agent in July, so the Glamour Boys won't have to break the bank.

Perhaps a heavily incentivised deal could work - where Mhango is rewarded for playing a certain amount of games, scoring a certain amount of goals and for toeing the line.

Chiefs would certainly need to protect themselves in case Mhango's allegedly wayward ways surface. And there would potentially be a risk of disrupting the squad, something which would have to be weighed up carefully.

It's of course all hypothetical at the moment. But it could just work for both parties - Chiefs need a reliable PSL striker who won't cost the moon, and Mhango might be needing a new club soon, and unless his agent is able to engineer a move to somewhere like north Africa, there may not be many options, at least at from the bigger clubs, for this talented player who is now moving towards the latter stages of his career.

A fresh start at a club like Chiefs would be a wonderful opportunity.

Let’s not forget a bunch of strikers – including Siyabonga Nomvethe, Siphelele Mthembu, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Jabu Mahlangu (Pule), Collins Mbesuma, Pollen Ndlanya, Marc Batchelor and Marks Maponyane have played for both of the Soweto giants.