Kaizer Chiefs recruitment drive is now in full flow, with the club taking their amount of signings to seven, as they look to reclaim the glory.
One of the signings that was officially unveiled by Chiefs was Venezuelan international midfielder Edson Castillo, who joins the club on a free transfer.
Already thus far, Chiefs have released two veteran midfielders in Phathutshedzo Nange who has since joined up with his former coach Gavin Hunt at SuperSport United. Cole Alexander was another player who soon followed suit and is also rumoured to be on his way to SuperSport where he could also play under his former coach in Hunt. He could also be on way home, with Cape Town Spurs also rumoured to be on his way out. But either way, Castillo seems like a much needed new addition to the club.
It is not just the veterans that are said to be on their way out of Chiefs, however, with the likes of Sabelo Radebe tipped to leave the club, with Richards Bay FC thought to be an interested party. George Matlou is also believed to have been put up for transfer by the Chiefs management, despite only joining the club last season. The Amakhosi faithful have long since been calling for the club to sign a defensive midfielder, but those calls went quiet a bit last season with Njabulo Blom blossoming.
But just as Blom was coming of age, he was soon sold to Major League Soccer outfit St. Louis City, a move that seems to have been a masterstroke for the American side, the player and now the national team. But for Chiefs, it reopened a gap that Arthur Zwane thought he had finally closed. With Alexander injured, none of Yusuf Maart, Siyethemba Sithebe nor Samkelo Zwane were fully able to do a similar job in that position. But now, with the addition of Castillo, the Soweto giants may just have the answer to their problems.
Castillo may have a bigger motivation and incentive to be that answer, however, as he would also be looking to break a Chiefs curse. Several players joined Chiefs last season, or were already part of the club structures, but subsequently found themselves fall out of the national team structures. The likes of Bruce Bvuma, Sifiso Hlanti, Keegan Dolly, Yusuf Maart, and Ashley du Preez to name but a few.
Yes a few internationals such as Caleb Bimenyimana and Edmilson Dove still got called up for their national teams, but Burundi and Mozambique may not have a bigger pool of players to compete with the above meantioned players yet. Christian Saile missed out on DR Congo call ups in the same vain, with there being more players competing for places there. Venezuela is also a country you would expect to have plenty of competition and playing in his home country would’ve certainly helped Castillo’s international cause.
WILL CASTILLO BE ABLE TO BREAK THE CHIEFS INTERNATIONAL CURSE?
Now Castillo last played for Venezuela in 2021 but if he has any plans to increase his six caps, he will understand that, he will have to play well for Chiefs, extremely well if he is to break their international curse.