Orlando Pirates started 2019/20 season on a slow pace and have been conceding goals that could have been prevented if they had a solid defence.
The Buccaneers have let in 20 league goals in 13 games so far this season, and are the highest conceding team of the top 8 teams in the League.
For a team that that was challenging for the League for the past 2 seasons, Pirates have really had a disappointing start this season in seventh spot.
FARPost.co.za takes a closer look at the 5 top defenders that have the ability and talent to solve the Buccaneers leaky defence.
1. LORENZO GORDINHO
The Kaizer Chiefs defender was once on the books of the Orlando Pirates Development Academy before joining Amakhosi juniors. Gordinho is finding it hard to break into Ernst Middendorp’s side this season, and has only made 5 appearances for the club so far this season. At 25 years of age and coming from a season and a half loan spell from Bloemfontein Celtic where he made 27 appearances, one would’ve expected that Gordinho would be a regular starter for Chiefs this season. With his contract at Kaizer Chiefs said to be coming to an end in June 2020, “Ngamla”, as he is affectionately known, could be free to sign a pre-contract with any team in January.
Pirates are in serious need of a defence overhaul and Gordinho could be a long term solution to that leaky Orlando Pirates defence which has conceded a whopping 20 goals so far this season in 13 games.
2. KOUASSI KOUADJA
Rumour has it he has already signed for Pirates. He came to Cape Town City highly recommended in June 2018, but the Ivory Coast defender has been plagued by injuries. He made a couple of starts for City under former coach Benni McCarthy and showed glimpses of what was said about him prior to joining the Citizens. Comfortable on the ball, can play from the back, competes with tall forwards for the ball aerially. The kind of defender that could suit the Orlando Pirates style of slow build-ups from the back. Kouadja is currently training with Pirates team.
3. THULANI HLATSHWAYO
“Tyson” has been a long time target for Orlando Pirates over the years. He recently extended his stay at Bidvest Wits for a further 3 years meaning his contract with the “Clever Boys” will only expire in June 2023. If Pirates want Hlatshwayo then they will have to pay big money for the 29-year-old, who is also captain for Wits. Hlatshwayo has in the past publicly stated his wish and desire to play for the Buccaneers and also be part of the biggest game in South African Football in the form of the “Soweto Derby” but for that to happen, both clubs are gonna have to come to an agreement which includes big money and possibly a player moving to the opposite direction to Wits.
4. RUSHINE DE REUCK
Arguably the best young centre back in the country at the moment. De Reuck continues to knock on the door of Bafana Bafana for a national team call-up. The 23-year-old defender has shown that he is no pushover against some of the country’s top forwards in the League… He also put in memorable and stellar performances against Orlando Pirates in the League (when the sides drew 0-0 at Orlando Stadium in September) and against Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout semifinals at Mbombela, where Maritzburg emerged as 2-1 winners. In both games De Reuck shut the Buccaneers and the Amakhosi attacks while providing cover and stability for his goalkeeper.
5. MURUSHID JUUKO
He once came close to joining the Buccaneers on recommendations by former coach Micho Sredojevic but nothing materialised. A regular starter for the Uganda national team, was also a regular at his former team Simba S.C before joining 2019 CAF Champions League losing finalists Wydad Casablanca but the young 25 year old is currently a free agent after he was recently released by the Tunisian giants.
As things stand, Pirates have 1 foreign spot available and surely the club will be very careful as to who they bring in from outside to fill in that spot.