Absa Premiership

Soccer's transfer window: See who went where

2018-02-04 06:09
Jeremy Brockie (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Shock moves and unexpected deals were rumoured and mulled over during soccer's recent transfer window period, but nothing extraordinary happened in the end.

One of the most anticipated moves did not take place as Khama Billiat stayed put at Mamelodi Sundowns, meaning he could leave as a free agent at the end of the season when his contract expires - unless he decides to extend it. Percy Tau will also finish this season with the Brazilians.

Thabo Nthethe was also expected to move during this period, but he is still stuck at Chloorkop, where he has hardly played this season. With his contract coming to an end in June, he will be free to join any team of his choice - for free.

This transfer period rarely produces shocks as it is mostly intended to introduce stopgap measures. All clubs but Bidvest Wits panicked and showed desperation midway through the season. They signed six new players and recalled two from loan spells.

Baroka FC made the least signings, with Khutso Mohwatseleng joining from ABC Motsepe League side Baberwa FC.

Normally, most signings in this period tend to be risky because players take time to adapt to their new clubs, but this has not been the case. Most of the new players hit the ground running as they helped their clubs to victory in their maiden games.

The period saw three former Premier Soccer League players returning home after stints outside the
country.

Former Orlando Pirates players Edwin Gyimah and Tendai Ndoro made a welcome return to the league that made them who they are. But they did not go back to where they used to woo supporters. Instead, they joined Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town, respectively.

Another returnee is former Kaizer Chiefs striker Matthew Rusike, who is now in the books of Cape Town City after his movement on the final day of registration.

This was a time to bolster teams where it was necessary, and clubs obliged as they were eager to augment their teams and sign that all-important player, or what they thought was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Judging by the player movements, it is apparent that many clubs felt they needed firepower up front.

Almost all sides registered a front man - from Leonardo Castro and Jeremy Brockie to Evans Rusike, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Augustine Mulenga, Camaldine Abraw and Dominic Chungwa.

Castro was an instant hit with the supporters after his goal on debut helped Amakhosi beat Baroka FC for the first time in the teams’ clash history.

The Colombian was not the only player to achieve this status, though - Ndoro found the back of the net for Ajax in his first game and so did Linda Mntambo at Chippa United.

Yannick Zakri started his stint at Ajax, where he is on loan from Sundowns, on a high note after scoring two goals on his debut against Pirates.

Gyimah’s arrival at Bidvest Wits seems to have stabilised the side. Since his move, the Students have won three matches and drawn one - before last night’s game against Chiefs.

After the Students scored only seven goals in the opening 15 games, coach Gavin Hunt had to bring in strikers. He went for Majoro and Thobani Mncwango from Cape Town City and Polokwane City, respectively.

Despite failing to find the back of the net, Majoro has been impressive and his off-the-ball movements have helped to unsettle defenders.

Struggling SuperSport United had to react after losing Brockie to neighbours Sundowns and they picked up the much sought after Evans Rusike from Maritzburg United.

With eight arrivals - three of whom are on loan - Platinum Stars were not left behind. Defender Ayanda Gcaba and winger Riyaad Norodien will spend the next four months with their former coach Roger De Sa, who is fighting to rescue the team from relegation.

The new club owners are hoping that he keeps them from falling away from the league.

Only at the end of May, when the last ball has been kicked, will clubs know if they made the right business deals or if it was money down the drain.

Read more on:    absa premiership  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Baroka FC v Polokwane City, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City FC v Wits, Athlone Stadium 18:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 18:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic, FNB Stadium 20:15
Free State Stars v AmaZulu FC, Goble Park 20:15
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Golden Arrows v Ajax Cape Town, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:15
Chippa United v Orlando Pirates, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Baroka FC v Cape Town City FC, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
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