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Possible replacement for Andile Jali at Orlando Pirates

Written By Themba Khumalo on Monday, January 27, 2014 | Monday, January 27, 2014

Orlando Pirates has adequate cover for Andile Jali but there is a need to add another anchor-man to toughen the engine room alongside Thandani Ntshumayelo and Lehlohonolo Masalesa whilst Oupa Manyisa will continues with his new trequartistas (play-maker) role in the team.

Pirates will cope without Jali, but the team needs another central midfielder. After meticulously analysis, 3 anchor-men have been identified who can easily fit into gigantic shoes of Jali.

Issa Sarr, Platinum Stars
The diminutive 27 years old Senegalese international player has established himself as one of the best anchorman in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for Stars. He very energetic coupled with excellent composure, high football intelligence quotient and winning mentality. His style of play fulfils all the necessary requirements for the prosperous foreman in the engine room.

He isn't the most ferocious tackler, but an excellent player with good game reading skills and transitional movement. He is one touch passing player with excellent ability to control the ball and recycle it in tight areas. Sarr is good in maintaining possession and helping in facilitating Stars offensive moves. He is a complete player who can easily fit into the enormous shoes of Jali at Pirates.

Edwin Gyimah, SuperSport United
I describe the 22 years old no-nonsense Ghanaian international as a “lion on the pitch”.  Gyimah is the most powerful and aggressive midfielder in the PSL with unrivalled physical presence in the field of play.  Gyimah is very good in cutting down the opponent offensive moves. He is the heartbeat of United in the engine room alongside ever shining Innocent Mkhabela.

Gyimah can easily fit into Pirates style of play but I don’t foresee ambitious Director of Football Stan Matthews selling his best asset to strengthen the opponent. Gyimah is still young with bright future ahead of him but he needs to improve his offensive move to be all-round-player as he already demonstrated his versatility in the PSL when playing as defender (sweeper) as well as central midfielder.

Michael Morton, Maritzburg United
Morton is a 24 years old dynamic lung-busting central midfielder who spent 9 years of his career with Pirates from junior to the senior level. However, he left the team after failing to get adequate game time to join Bidvest Wits later United.

The hard tackling centre midfielder quickly establishes himself as one of the most reliable and effective player. Morton is one of the most underrated players in the PSL but already anchored the United midfield since 2011 with distinction despite not receiving Bafana Bafana international cap. Morton has a big engine to fill Jali gap, but I don’t anticipate Pirates re-signing him despite his excellent techniques in the engine room.

By Owen Mundalamo

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