Kaizer Chiefs have maintained their interest in Bloemfontein Celtic’s attacking midfielder, Kabelo Mahlasela, and we take a look at the possible impact that he could make at the club.
Click through the images above to see a statistical comparison between Mahlasela and Kaizer Chiefs’ current attacking midfielders.
In Soccer Laduma issue number 1034 the Siya crew revealed that Kaizer Chiefs are still interested in the Celtic man, with his current club seemingly open to selling him. We take a look at what the stats have to say to find out what the 26-year-old has to offer.
While Mahlasela is a number 10 who can play out wide, he was used more often on the wing last season at Celtic, yet, if Chiefs were to secure his services, he would be competing with Siphiwe Tshabalala and Hendrick Ekstein at number 10.
Mahlasela played far less football last season than his counterparts, but in his per 90 minutes statistics, he is certainly comparable to either. While Tshabalala leads the pack in terms of goals and assists, Mahlasela plays more passes in the final third and took more penalty area touches per 90 minutes. However, he made fewer passes, at a poorer rate of accuracy, than both Tshabalala and Ekstein.
Curiously, he took fewer shots than both of his counterparts, despite spending more time in the final third than both. However, this is likely because Celtic was the lowest scoring team in the league last season.
With that said, Mahlasela was incredibly astute when it came to the accuracy of his long balls, with two of every three hitting the target. This indicates that he could be better suited to a more withdrawn midfield role. His success rate with duels is also the best out of the three, showing that he would also be able to win the ball back when called upon.
In this respect, Mahlasela may not be the number 10 that Chiefs are looking for, but could make for a fine deep-lying playmaker, for which he wouldn’t be facing much competition. Furthermore, he would provide adequate back up in the number 10 role, should he be called upon.
Do you think Chiefs should sign Mahlasela?