Leonardo Castro has the skill to do very well at Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: BackpagePix
The arrival of striker Leonardo Castro, along with a few others, at Kaizer Chiefs this month has almost immediately rejuvenated a side that was slowly being written off as Absa Premiership title contenders.

But just how will the Colombian striker, probably now the most talked about signing by Amakhosi ahead of facing his former club Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night, fare in comparison to players who have crossed the floor from Chloorkop to Naturena in the past? Jose Torrealba and Katlego Mphela are distant memories and didn’t come close to the impact Castro has already had at Chiefs  after just one match.

Here we look at three reasons why he is better than the two strikers who moved from Sundowns to Chiefs before him

Debut goal

Both Torrealba and Mphela took time to adjust to life at Chiefs, with their fitness being constantly questioned.

This became the theme of their spell at Naturena and they were easily labelled flops, although Venezuelan Torrealba did give a few performances earlier on that suggested he may be a goal scoring machine, but was not consistent enough.

Castro could not have asked for a better start to life at his new club as he came off the bench at the weekend against Baroka FC to help 10-men Chiefs win 2-1 when he struck his shot first time to grab the decider.

A forward needs goals to be high on confidence, and Castro has that going for him at the moment.

Gustavo Paez Factor

The Colombian had a tour guide in the form of new teammate Paez waiting for him at Naturena.

The coach has hinted at the fact that the two could very well compliment each other upfront  an idea that has immense potential given that they both speak Spanish (Paez is from Venezuela) and share the same agent, meaning they have known each other for some time prior to Castro joining Chiefs.

Paez has also struggled for goals, although his movements off the ball have impressed Steve Komphela enough that he keeps asking him to lead the line. 

With Castro now the focal point  the type of striker who lingers in the box  the two could combine well to help Amakhosi keep their place as title challengers during the run-in over the coming weeks.

Chiefs have competition

Although perhaps not as deadly as Castro in terms of their goal ratio, Amakhosi have some artillery to keep the new man on his toes.

Torrealba became complacent too quickly, until a young Knowledge Musona arrived to take over the scoring responsibility, spelling the end of a jaded-looking Torrealba.

Mphela had too many off the field problems, was never really then-coach Stuart Baxter’s first choice and relied too much on what he’d done in the past instead of what he could offer Chiefs when they signed him.

Ryan Moon has scored two goals in two matches since being given a chance in the second half of the season and Dumisani Zuma has also shown that if asked to do so, he is capable of getting the goals for Chiefs.

Castro can thrive under such conditions, but time will be the best indicator.

The Star

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