Thabo Rakhale has lost his place in Milutin Sredojevic’s first team at Orlando Pirates and we take a look at why.
Rakhale has only made two appearances in the Absa Premiership to date, against Baroka FC and Maritzburg United and, as revealed in Soccer Laduma issue number 1041, the club appears to be open to selling the winger. However, having been considered a first team regular in years gone by, what has changed for the 27-year-old?
Click through the images above to see how Rakhale compares to his Orlando Pirates teammates.
Rakhale seems to have fallen out of favour and appears to be behind Thabo Qalinge, Luvuyo Memela and Thembinkosi Lorch in the pecking order for first team wingers at the club.
Lorch plays as a right-footed winger on the right wing, while Norodien is right footed and can play well on either flank, but is perhaps best when cutting in off the left flank onto his stronger foot, while the left-footed Memela is also good with either foot and can play on either flank – he is also a set-piece specialist, adding to his repertoire. Then, Thabo Qalinge is right footed and usually operates down the left flank, with Rakhale playing on the right flank as a right footer. Bernard Morrison, although naturally a winger, has taken on the role of a central striker, but offers another avenue out wide if necessary.
Effectively, Rakhale’s position has become redundant in the current Pirates setup and, considering that he’s spent so little time on the pitch this season, we address last season’s statistics, which are not flattering for the skilful winger. In the 2016/17 season, Rakhale scored no goals and provided just two assists, which, although not the worst on the team, is not a healthy return. However, he did create more chances than his counterparts, while also returning a decent passing accuracy figure. With that said, Rakhale did produce a relatively good open crossing accuracy rate of 25%. However, with dribbling considered to be one of his best attributes, Rakhale managed just 1.73 dribbles per 90 minutes last season, well behind Luvuyo Memela’s 2.96.
Memela, in fact, has quietly become one of the finest players in the Pirates team, having made five assists last season, despite playing only 911 minutes throughout the campaign. However, he failed to score after taking 20 shots last season, which is a subject of concern. He also topped Pirates’ assist charts in 2015/16, with five.
Therefore, Rakhale will either need to step up and impress his new coach if he intends on staying with the Buccaneers or otherwise he may have to consider a future elsewhere.
Do you think Rakhale can be a first team regular at Pirates?