How Zambian Striker Ended Up At Bucs Not Downs
The Deal For Orlando Pirates Striker Has Been Explained
It has been revealed to the Siya crew how Orlando Pirates beat Mamelodi Sundowns to their newly signed Zambian striker.
Justin Shonga, who made his PSL debut at the weekend in the colours of Pirates in their 2-2 draw against Polokwane City, was signed by the Soweto giants last week when the Buccaneers announced the player’s signing on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old was previously on the books of Nkwazi FC in Zambia and as reported in the latest edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1043, the player’s situation could have turned out differently.
Sundowns initially showed interest in him earlier in the year and the Brazilians were believed to be close to adding him to their roster. Downs had tabled an offer for the player, but it was Bucs who secured his signature for Milutin Sredojevic’s team. Pirates were keen to replace Tendai Ndoro after the Zimbabwean international striker left the club for Al Faisaly of Saudi Arabia in August.
“Sundowns did offer the player a deal. He (Shonga) even travelled (from Zambia) to South Africa to be with the club. He was there for a couple of weeks. He came back (to Zambia) and then Orlando Pirates came into the picture. The thing is that Sundowns had already registered their five foreign players in their squad for the season.
“The agreement between Nkwazi FC and Sundowns was that he was going to join them (Sundowns) next year, as Khama Billiat’s replacement if he leaves. So we were waiting on him joining Sundowns. I don’t know what happened. Two weeks later, the story changed as it was confirmed that he was joining Orlando Pirates,” said the source.
Contacted for comment, Zambia Police Director of Sport Adrian Kashala, whose office oversees the day-to-day running of Nkwazi, confirmed Downs’ interest in the player.
“Yes, they (Sundowns) were interested in the player, but I think the deal couldn’t go well. We decided to move on. There was a variety of offers from different clubs. Orlando Pirates was one of those clubs. They showed seriousness and we proceeded with them,” said Kashala.
In recent times, Pirates have managed to beat Sundowns to the likes of Nigerian duo of Emmanuel Daniel and Christian Obiozor, although the latter’s move to the Soweto giants in the July/August transfer window fell through.