The Key Transfer Questions Facing Pirates
The Key Questions Facing Orlando Pirates In The Off-Season Transfer Window
With thoughts at Mayfair already turning to next season, Soccer Laduma identifies some of the positions in which Orlando Pirates could strengthen in the transfer window.
It was a case of close, but no cigar for the Buccaneers this term as their Absa Premiership title bid was ended in the penultimate round after they slumped to a 1-0 loss against Cape Town City.
Already, the powers that be at the Orlando Stadium will be turning attention to the transfer market, but in which departments should the Soweto giants be looking to improve?
Top Priority: The Defence?
When considering the Buccaneers' overall league form, the first red flag would be the fact they have drawn a third of their top-flight matches this season (10) - twice as many as champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Lending to the Bucs' penchant for dropping points is the fact they have managed only 11 clean sheets from their 29 top-flight matches this season, three less than the champions-elect - highlighting where the seven-point gap at the top stems from.
Milutin Sredojevic's men also have the worst defensive record of the top four, having been breached on 24 occasions during the course of the 2017/18 campaign, highlighting the need for a more structured back line if they are to launch a sustainable title charge.
Second On The List: The Goalkeepers?
Pirates' above-mentioned defensive record this season would suggest the goalkeepers have been equally culpable, although Jackson Mabokgwane and Wayne Sandilands have performed admirably when called upon in the Bucs' keeper rotation policy, with both keeping five clean sheets from 12 and 10 league appearances respectively.
However, the pair did contrive to let in a combined 18 goals during that time, while Siyabonga Mpontshane's season sheet makes for poor reading, having kept just two clean sheets in six league appearances, conceding four times in the process.
That could hint at the need for increased competition between the sticks in Orlando, although Micho may prefer to retain their current goalkeeping options and instead focus improving the set-up in front of the glovemen.
What About The Attack?
Finding the back of the net is not really something Pirates have struggled with this season and the Soweto giants boast the second most lethal attack in the league with 39 goals from 29 games, behind only the Percy Tau-led Sundowns, who have bulged the back of the net 10 times more.
That does, then, perhaps highlight the need for a striker capable of reaching double figures in a single campaign, with Pirates' top league scorer this term coming from midfield, with Luvuyo Memela having bagged five goals, less than half the tally of Golden Boot favourite, Tau.
Where do you think Pirates most need to strengthen in the transfer window?