Orlando Pirates could have a new-look defence of quality players and experience in the new season as the club is linked with some of the top players in Mzansi’s topflight.
The Buccaneers are expected to conclude deals with the Bidvest Wits duo of Thulani Hlatshwayo and Deon Hotto in preparation of next season, as reported by the Siya crew.
Following the departure of Siyanda Xulu from Maritzburg United, indications are that Bucs have reignited their interest in the experienced centre-back.
Click through the gallery above for players who could line up in the new-look defence for Pirates
Furthermore, the 28-year-old is believed to be keen on a return to Gauteng, following his previous spells at Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs respectively.
Having already conceded 26 goals from 23 matches in the league so far in the 2019/20 season, while also appearing to be out of the title race as Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns seemed to be the only two teams in serious competition for honours before the enforced PSL break, Pirates are expected to prioritise the defence and goalkeeping in strengthening the squad for next season.
Also, a big decision has to be made by the Soweto giants about the future of veteran defender Happy Jele whose contract has come to an end, although indications are that the club’s captain could be handed another one-year contract extension.
Should all the signings and changes take place – and if Bafana Bafana international Innocent Maela will keep his place as the first choice left-back – Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer could have one of the strong back fours in the league, with the possible centre-back pairing of Hlatshwayo and Xulu and with Jele possibly switching to the right, which is the position he has played at times in 14 years that he has been with the club.
However, Zinnbauer has other quality players to choose his line-ups from in the likes of Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Alfred Ndengane, among others.