JOHANNESBURG – Today marks three days before the 2019/2020 Premiership season kicks off. There has been a lot of movement in the transfer window as teams continues to bolster their squads for the new term.
While a number of players and coaches have bit the dust, there have been some impressive international acquisitions. We look at five imports that will likely be influential to their new clubs’ fortunes.
Lazarous Kambole - Chiefs
Having inspired his former employers Zesco United to greater heights in domestic and continental football in the past two seasons, Kambole joins Chiefs with a lofty billing.
However, his Zambian nationality and club choice in the PSL puts him under greater strain to deliver. Compatriot Collins Mbesuma remains the only striker in the PSL era to score over 30 goals in a term, having netted 35 goals for Amakhosi during the 2004/2005 season.
While it will be highly improbable for Kambole to achieve that feat this season, Chiefs definitely need a “messiah” who will deliver them to the “Promised Land”.
In the last four seasons their trophy cabinet has gathered dust - a dismal state of affairs for the club once known as the “Cup Kings of South African Football”.
Mauricio Affonso - Mamelodi Sundowns
With two Premiership titles under his belt in the last two seasons, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane appears to always have a plan up his sleeves. The business with South Americans has mainly been the success story behind their domestic dominance in the last two seasons. Brazilian Ricardo Nascimento was solid in defence, while Uruguayan Gaston Sirino was a nightmare for opposition defences.
Therefore it wouldn’t surprise to see Sirino’s countryman Affonso, Sundowns’ new No 9, leading the scoreboards come May 2020.
He had an okay season with Peruvian top-flight side Club Alianza Lima last term, scoring four goals in 11 matches.
Austin Muwowo - Orlando Pirates
Having been hot property in the Zambian Super League last season for Forest Rangers, where he was the league’s joint top goal-scorer with 10 goals and eight assists, Muwowo will be banking on hitting top gear from the outset in the PSL.
His adaptation in the famous black and white jersey of the Buccaneers, should be seamless as compatriots Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga are already an integral part of the team’s potent attack.
Mulenga and Shonga may have been ineffective in inspiring the Sea Robbers to silverware in the last two seasons, but Muwowo will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of countryman Isaac Chansa.
The latter, a midfielder, relished successful spells with the Buccaneers, inspiring the team to a double hat-trick during the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons.
Andre de Jong - Amazulu
With New Zealanders Jeremy Brockie and Michael Boxall having relished a blissful stint in the PSL, De Jong is hard pressed to deliver.
Brockie has grabbed the opportunity to ply his trade in Africa with both hands, inspiring former employers SuperSport United to their maiden Caf Confederations Cup final in 2017. Despite limited involvement in Sundowns’ recent back-to-back Premiership triumphs, “Sniper” continues to be considered a top marksman in the PSL.
Therefore De Jong will be expected to emulate that pedigree, especially joining the league with impressive stats from Eastern Suburbs, where he scored 17 goals in 20 matches last season. Added to that fact is that he replaces Argentine Emiliano Tade, who he faced in the ASB Premiership in New Zealand.
Boy de Jong - Stellenbosch FC
With Cape Town City’s goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh having set the tone in the PSL last season, De Jong will be hoping the keep the impressive Dutch momentum moving this term.
The latter joins Stellies after a lacklustre career with his former employers, where he played as the third choice in the last five seasons, while making 21 domestic appearances overall.
The 25-year-old goalminder will be eager to make his mark, especially in a team that will aim to consolidate their spot among the elite.@Mihlalibaleka