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Orlando Pirates

13 Goals But No Space For Star At Pirates

His signing was met with much fanfare; however, coach Josef Zinnbauer has revealed the reason why Orlando Pirates’ latest signing Monnapula Saleng will spend the season with Swallows FC.

To say that Pirates have been short of firepower up front last season would be an understatement.

In total, the Buccaneers’ front line of Tshegofatso Mabasa, Zakhele Lepasa and Gabadinho Mhango managed a combined 16 goals, with Vincent Pule finishing as the club’s top scorer with nine strikes.

Therefore, when Pirates signed the 23-year-old, who was fresh from netting 13 times for Free State Stars, where he finished as the league’s top scorer last season, Bucs fans were understandably led to believe that the end of their goalscoring woes was in sight.

However, it wasn’t to be.

Saleng along with Austin Muwowo will be spending the 2021/22 season with the Birds and in a recent press conference, coach Zinnbauer disclosed the reason behind this decision, stating that there was no space for Saleng in Pirates' star-studded team.

“It’s a good question, but the question is always ‘what is the best for the player’ at the moment he said he needs minutes and if you look at the squad it’s really not easy for him to play in his position,” Zinnbauer told journalists.

“He’s a good player, but I compare him to Messi (Tebogo Tlolane) who came back from loan, he’s improved, he had game time and he has more self-confidence and he understands more what he can do in the game for 90 minutes.”

Saleng’s first game for coach Brandon Truter’s side could be against his parent club this Saturday when the two clubs square off in the MTN8 quarter-final at the Orlando Stadium.

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