Did Chiefs make right call by firing quintet?

Former Chiefs striker Gustavo Paez./Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
Former Chiefs striker Gustavo Paez./Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs appear to have made the right call by axing five players, based on their statistics.

What's unusual is that the contracts of Hendrick Ekstein, Khotso Malope, Gustavo Paez, Bhongolwethu Jayiya and Virgil Vries were terminated few matches before the season ended.

Chiefs, however, are building for next season, and in celebrating their 50th anniversary on January 7 2020, the aim is to put together a squad that will challenge for the league title rather than fielding jokes for being stuck in seventh position for weeks on end as has been the case this campaign. So, did they get rid of the right players? Sowetan assesses the situation.

Bhongolwethu Jayiya

The winger, 29, is the latest casualty and would look back at his two seasons with the club as wasted time. Jayiya made just six appearances this season and was clearly not in coach Ernst Middendorp's plans for next season.

Both parties would be relieved for different reasons, with Chiefs confident Jayiya had to go based on his lack of contribution and the latter looking to make a fresh start elsewhere to hopefully bring back the days of his time with Cape Town City, where he was one of their stand-out performers. Jayiya played 20 games for Chiefs and failed to score.

Hendrick Ekstein

The main reason Kaizer Chiefs opted to let him go was because they were failing to agree on new terms. Ekstein, 28, had a decent showing this season (five goals in 28 appearances including in the CAF Confed Cup) compared to three previous campaigns. Ekstein played 97 matches, contributing nine goals and two assists.

Gustavo Paez

When the Venezuelan, 29, joined Amakhosi in January 2017, a lot was made of his dismal record - that he wasn't a prolific striker. He did little to justify Chiefs' decision to sign him with just 10 goals in 53 appearances.

Khotso Malope

During his two seasons with the first team since his promotion from the development, the midfielder, 24, rarely played. He made seven appearances and scored one goal. Before his promotion, he spent sometime at Moroka Swallows and Thanda Royal Zulu, where he appeared to be doing well, but it wasn't to be at Chiefs.

Virgil Vries

The Namibian goalie will be remembered for a couple of howlers in Chiefs colours. From the start, his signing last year came as a surprise after a brief stint with Baroka. Vries, 28, went on to make eight appearances and conceded six goals, and to his credit kept four clean sheets.

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