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Chiefs or Pirates? Jomo Sono reveals who he thinks signed better players

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates bolstered their squads in the transfer market ahead of the 2023/24 season, aiming to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns‘ dominance in the DStv Premiership.

Both clubs made big signings, with Chiefs bringing in nine new faces, while across town, Pirates welcomed eight.

Undoubtedly, it is difficult to say definitively which team has the stronger squad. However, one man who is well-placed to judge is Jomo Sono. Sono, founder and coach of third-tier side Jomo Cosmos, played for Pirates during his heydays. 

He has since revealed who he thinks did better business in the transfer market, further tipping them as a dark horse to topple Sundowns.


KAIZER CHIEFS: Given Msimango [TS Galaxy], Mduduzi Mdantsane [Cape Town City], Thatayaone Ditlhokwe [SuperSport United], Ranga Chivaviro [Marumo Gallants], Pule Mmodi [Golden Arrows], Edson Daniel Castillo Garcia [Monagas SC], Tebogo Potsane [Royal AM], Efmamjjasond Gonzales Palacios [Real Santa Cruz, Bolivia], Sibongiseni Mthethwa [Stellenbosch FC].

Sibongiseni Mthethwa training with his Kaizer Chiefs teamates
Sibongiseni Mthethwa

ORLANDO PIRATES: Melusi Buthelezi [TS Galaxy], Siphelo Baloni [All Stars], Katlego Otladisa [Marumo Gallants], Patrick Maswanganyi [SuperSport United], Sphamandla Gumede [Dondol Styars], Lesedi Kapinga [Mamelodi Sundowns], Karim Kimvuidi [Maritzburg United]

“Pirates have signed some very good players, but not in the class of Sundowns. Chiefs have signed very, very good players in the class of Sundowns. They’ve got some class players there. I mean, you look at this guy from [Venezuela], the central midfielder [Edson Castillo],” Sono said. 


‘Bra J’ explained that he was particularly impressed with Amakhosi’s signing of Edson Castillo. The Venezuelan midfielder has been in prolific form since joining Chiefs. He has already scored four goals in 11 games in all competitions.

“[Castillo] he’s a good player. He’s top of the range. He will be worse now when he’s got [Sibongiseni] Ox Mthethwa in midfield. They’ll be strong.”

‘The Black Prince of South African Soccer’ further made a bold claim about the Molefi Ntseki-coached side.

“Chiefs can be the dark horses that can challenge for the league. It all depends on how the coach sets up his team.

“But, if you have Mthethwa and Castillo in midfield, all those who are skilful, you let them go upfront. Don’t worry about having them defend. 

“But that Castillo is class, he’s a box-to-box player. Mthethwa is a box-to-box player. 

“They’ve organised their defence very well with the right back [Reeve Frosler]. He’s a good player. That defence is strong. Both fullbacks [with Edmilson Dove] can attack.

“I like Mthethwa. He’s a good player. The combination [with Castillo] will be unbelievable.”


Sono also praised Pirates’ signing of Kimvuidi from relegated Maritzburg United. He believes once the Congolese settles in, he will add a lot to the Buccaneers team.

Karim Kimvuidi of Orlando Pirates in action
Karim Kimvuidi has been tipped to excel at Pirates by Jomo Sono

“With Pirates, the boy they signed from Maritzburg [Karim Kimvuidi] is class, but as you know, foreigners take time to adjust in South Africa, but Castillo didn’t even take time. He just fitted in like a glove. He’s a good player.”

Overall, Sono believes that Chiefs have made the better signings in the just-ended transfer window. 

He, however, warns it takes time to get a newly assembled team to gel. “It happens [that results don’t immediately come]. It takes time to mould a team. Sundowns have been together since last year or two years ago. When they add, it’s one or two. That team has been together for some time. They understand each other….” 

RELATED STORY: Jomo Sono tips two Kaizer Chiefs signings to add steel to the team

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