The PSL Big Three's Top Signings Rated!
With Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns all strengthening their options in the transfer market, Soccer Laduma rates the big-name signings made so far by the PSL's 'Big Three'.
The onus to dive deep into the market is arguably on the two Soweto giants, who both fell short in all competitions last term, including in the coveted Absa Premiership, where Sundowns eventually strolled to the title ahead of the Buccaneers and Glamour Boys.
Kaizer Chiefs & Khama Billiat
With Chiefs having endured a third successive trophyless season, the South African football fraternity sensed something big needed to happen at Naturena, and the Amakhosi faithful's prayers were answered in sensational style following the marquee signing of Khama Billiat.
The Zimbabwe international's exit from Premiership champions Sundowns was maybe not so shocking for some, with the playmaker's future in Tshwane said to have been in doubt even before he opened discussions with Amakhosi, but with Billiat having been one of the driving forces behind the Brazilians' recent successes, the gold half of Soweto have rightly been left buzzing in anticipation ahead of his potential impact next term.
With an average of one goal every two appearances in the top-flight last term, Billiat's contribution of eight strikes - which left him joint-fourth in the top scorers charts and just three off the pace of Golden Boot winners Percy Tau and Rodney Ramagalela - equates to around 16% of all of Sundowns' league goals in 2017/18, while he also contributed another four assists.
Other signings by Kaizer Chiefs so far include left-back Letlhogonolo Mirwa, goalkeeper Virgil Vries and Madagascan attacker Andriamirado Andrianarimanana.
Rating: 3/5 for Amakhosi, who are undoubtedly a better team with Khama Billiat in their ranks!
Orlando Pirates & Brilliant Khuzwayo
For Orlando Pirates, a runners-up finish in the Absa Premiership hints the Soweto giants may be close to returning to their very best in South Africa, and they look determined to push on in 2018/19 after kicking off the transfer period with no fewer than nine signings.
Amongst those arrivals was a surprise inclusion as former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo headlined the influx of new talent at Pirates, whose signing of the gloveman as a free agent means Mayfair now boasts an incredibly experienced line-up of goalkeepers, including Jackson Mabokgwane, Wayne Sandilands and Siyabonga Mpontshane.
That has left Buccaneers head coach Milutin Sredojevic with virtually four first-choice goalkeepers at his disposal, giving the tactician quality cover whenever he needs it, and considering Pirates conceded the most of any of the top-four last term, the Serbian has done well to identify and plug one of the team's leaks.
The other eight signings made by Pirates in June are Vincent Pule, Ben Motshwari, Meshack Maphangule, Asavela Mbekile, Linda Mntambo, Abel Mabaso, Paseka Mako and Kudakwashe Mahachi.
Rating: 4/5 for Pirates, who can now focus on forging a stronger outfield setup.
Mamelodi Sundowns & Andile Jali
While one superstar departed Chloorkop, another took his place as Billiat's exit from Sundowns was cushioned by the arrival of Bafana Bafana international Andile Jali, back in South Africa after four years sharpening his immense talents in Europe with Oostende.
Jali even snubbed a move to Kaizer Chiefs in favour of joining Sundowns, where he has reunited with former Orlando Pirates team-mate Oupa Mayisa, which is something that has Brazilians fans' tongues wages after the pair previously played to devastating effect together during the Buccaneers' unprecedented double-treble feat.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has further added to his options with the signing of Venezuelan attacking midfielder Jose Ali Meza, while highly-rated Guinea-Bissau international Toni Silva was snapped up on a free transfer.
Rating: 4/5 for Sundowns, who have done well in their signings but may still feel the void left by Khama Billiat's exit.