Miguel Timm

Orlando Pirates midfield makeover needed

Home » Orlando Pirates midfield makeover needed

Orlando Pirates are still miles away from catching up with Mamelodi Sundowns, and observers believe the team’s ageing midfield is a key factor. 

Second-placed Pirates are currently 13 points behind Sundowns despite having played two more games in the league.

As things stand, Masandawana looks set to lift their seventh successive league title.

Here’s a breakdown of the current midfielders and why some should be replaced.

The crux of the issue is that Bucs’ central midfield is past its prime. Players like Fortune Makaringe, Makhehlene Makhaula, and Thabang Monare are all over 30, and their decline is imminent. While they are experienced players, they lack the potential for substantial development.

The future of Pirates’ midfield lies with younger players like Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo (29), Goodman Mosele (25), and loaned player Thalente Mbatha (24). Ndlondlo, with his blend of experience and room for growth, is a sure bet to stay on the team. Mosele has impressed on loan at Chippa United, while Mbatha has quickly adapted to the pressure of playing for Pirates.

Makhehlene Makhaula of Orlando Pirates
Makhehlene Makhaula in action

The upcoming June transfer window is crucial for Orlando Pirates. The team needs to decide whether to release some of the veteran midfielders and give the younger players a chance.  This may involve letting go of fan favourites like Miguel Timm, whose leadership is valuable but whose contract may not expire in June.

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The ideal solution would be to adopt a 4-3-3 formation, which requires only one holding midfielder. This would allow Orlando Pirates to keep some of the experienced players while focusing on developing the younger ones. Additionally, Pirates will rely on the likes of Karim Kimvuidi and Patrick Maswanganyi to fill the more offensive midfield positions. Teenage sensation Relebohile Mofokeng has also lifted his hand to be counted this season and will be important in the future.

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