The silly season is fully underway, as club “think tanks” seek to delve into the transfer market and attempt to strengthen their teams going into the new season, while also ensuring that they get the best possible value for money deals in a very competitive and largely inflated global transfer market. We at GSV have taken it upon ourselves to give you a comprehensive breakdown of some transfer deals in our Grading The Deal supplement, an exclusive and comprehensive guide catered towards the purists who seek to know more than the average fan regarding the wheeling’s and dealings in football today. Enjoy!
The lack of transparency within South African football, regarding transfers and player contracts, returns to being the central topic now that the rumour mill has kicked into full swing. We have often woken up to a surprising transfer or two in the past couple of years during this busy period for clubs, players and their representatives; one of the early deals to have caught my eye was the move of former Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Ramahlwe Mphahlele on a free transfer to Kaizer Chiefs. Ramahlwe is a gifted footballer that only recently overcame some injury concerns, to make the right-back slot at Chloorkop his own, before winning a place in the Bafana Bafana squad, where he seemed at home.
The reason why the transfer was a surprising one is two-fold; a Downs player leaving to join Khosi is a reversal of the trend we saw growing when Brian Baloyi traded Johannesburg for Tshwane in the 2005/06 season, the other surprise was the fact that such an integral part of the Sundowns squad was allowed to join a local rival on a free is even more peculiar. The lack of business savvies within our club administrators has seen the game of football fail to grow at the rate many had hoped to see in Mzansi, while we should rightly praise Kaizer Chiefs for pulling off such a major coup on a free transfer, Mamelodi Sundowns will have to be questioned as to why the players contract was allowed to run down without an extension being signed, or the player being moved on with some return on investment.
The impending departure of Siboniso Gaxa will create a void that has actually needed filling since the start of last season; Kaizer Chiefs had a record breaking run with a squad that begun to show its age in many areas, the signing of a younger upgrade to Pa will certainly go down well with Khosi supporters, who have been calling for some marquee names to be signed. Ramahlwe Mphahlele will easily slot into that right-back role, offering defensive stability, offensive prowess and a helping of leadership, something Kaizer Chiefs lost in Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Full Name: Ramahlwe Quinton Mphahlele
DoB: February 1st, 1990 (26)
PoB: Ga-Mphahlele, Limpopo; South Africa
Nationality: South African
Caps & Goals: 1 Cap
Position/s: Fullback, Wingback, Stopper Defender, Cover Defender, Ball-Playing Defender (Right/Centre)
Height: 1, 76m
Preferred Foot: Right
Club: Kaizer Chiefs Football Club
Jersey No: #2
Former Clubs: Moroka Swallows (2007-2011), Mamelodi Sundowns (2011-2016), Pretoria University (2012-2013, Loan)
Development Nest/s: Turfloop School of Excellence, Moroka Swallows
Transfer Fee: Free Transfer
Contract Expiry: June 30th, 2019 + 1 Year Renewal Option
2015/16 Club Stats: 27 Games, 2 Assists & 2 Yellow Cards
Total Career Stats: 192 Games, 4 Goals, 9 Assists & 23 Yellow Cards
GSV Deal Grader: Jimmy Tau, from Orlando Pirates to Kaizer Chiefs, August 2005 on a Free Transfer (4/5)
The Grand Stand View
The mass exodus of players from Kaizer Chiefs over the last 18 months has been long overdue in many ways, the club needs to rebuild upon a new foundation and try to eclipse or at least match the success they enjoyed during their great run. The acquisition of Ramahlwe Mphahlele is a shrewd and commendable one; Rama is a Bafana calibre player who has the ability to become the best right-back in the country, if he isn’t already; Rama is also versatile enough to develop into a more central defender for the AmaKhosi if the situation calls for it, his versatility is something that adds to his overall value to the club.
Kaizer Chiefs will be keenly watched by their rivals, many of whom believe that the AmaKhosi are a wounded giant, desperately attempting to revive their fortunes with a signing spree to appease a disgruntled support base; one would be weary of a wounded Kaizer Chiefs, the Glamour Boys seem to do their most productive business off the field, when all odds are stacked against them. Bobby Motaung & new Technical Director, Doctor Khumalo, will need to put all their years of experience & football expertise to work if they are to successfully assemble a side that gaffer Steve Komphela can work with to achieve the mandate set forth, the signing of a player like Ramahlwe Mphahlele is a good start.