Under normal circumstances one would have expected Monday's
announcement by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) that the January transfer window was open to have caused a
frenzy of activity.
But sadly, not so.
There are a number of reasons for this just becoming a
It has actually been so for quite some time now.
The idea behind this concept was to allow clubs to
strengthen weak departments and patch the chinks in their armoury.
This used to be the time when clubs sniffed around for
players who would be free agents due to their contracts either having just
ended or about to.
But what has happened in the past few seasons is that
most January signings have flopped at their clubs and failed to justify the money paid for them.
For cases in point, see what happened in the English
Premier League with Chelsea and Manchester City this time last year.
Reigning champions Chelsea signed Juan
Cuadrado from Italian Serie A side Fiorentina for £26.1 million, but have since
loaned him out to Juventus, while City still has to realise value for the £28 million they splashed out for Wilfried Bony to Swansea in what was the biggest deal of the
Another downside on the South Africa market is also
the fact that there is not much quality up for grabs.
Add to that a not so healthy economic climate and we are
bound for a disastrous transfer period.
We are also in a season where not many players have
even put up their hands for the lucrative player and footballer of the season
In seasons past, by this time of the year there
had already been several serious contenders.
But to be honest, apart from the Mamelodi Sundowns
pair of Bongani Zungu and Keagan Dolly, there are no others who have been
Even their team-mates, Khama Billiat and Ugandan
goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, who stood firmly between Kaizer Chiefs and the Telkom
Knockout Cup, have only shown flashes of brilliance, quite shy of the consistency
needed to compete for such awards.
It is then no wonder that indications are that the
transfer window period will be dominated by players seeking some action because
of inactivity at their current clubs.
These are the likes of Bongani Ndulula, David Zulu
(both of Kaizer Chiefs), Phumelele Bhengu (SuperSport United), Lindokuhle
Mbatha (Sundowns) and Malawian Esau Kanyenda.
Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane has already said that
his club will not invade the market given the abundance of talent at his
Sundowns should rather offload some players who have
seen little or no action at all this season.
So talented are the players on Sundowns' books that
one coach quipped that as the club's mentor, you could easily win games with
"the 11 players on the field, those on the bench and even those on the
And this is no exaggeration.
But while Sundowns have enough ammunition to tackle the
CAF Champions League, ever so elusive for South African clubs, Kaizer Chiefs
will surely have to beef up their squad if they want to make an impression in
this continental tournament.
South and Southern African clubs have not done very well
in this and other continental competitions, save for Orlando Pirates who seem
to have found a recipe to do well, winning it in 1995 and losing in the final
of the CAF Confederation Cup last year.
So it will be interesting to see, not only which
players make movements in this period, but also make an impression at their new
The transfer window will close on January 29.
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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