Meet Kaizer Chiefs New Signings for 2021/2022 Season

Kaizer Chiefs have been making impressive waves in the Premier Soccer League since its establishment on January 7th, 1970. The club calls FNB Stadium home and has clinched more than 50 club trophies, including 13 league titles. However, since 2015, the team has been on a PSL title drought. Thus, Kaizer Chiefs have been making efforts to revamp the team by landing new signings. Following the franchise’s illegal signing of former Malagasy player, Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana in the year 2018, they were handed a window transfer ban for two years by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC).

As a result, the Chiefs have been unable to land new players since 2018. The club also didn’t release some of its old players during such time. After the expiration of the widow transfer ban in June 2021, Kaizer Chiefs splashed millions of rands buying new players. The club is obviously trying to build up the team due to the poor performance of the Glamour Boys in the PSL last season, which led to the axing of Gavin Hunt as Kaizer Chiefs’ head coach. Hence, Stuart Baxter was named the new coach for 2021/2022. He has made huge additions to the team, hoping to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns for the League title this season.

How Many Players Did Kaizer Chiefs Sign For The 2021/2022 Season?

In late 2020, Amakhosi appealed against the two-year window transfer ban placed on the club by FIFA DRC at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The ban came in place due to the report made against Kaizer Chiefs to the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber by the Malagasy franchise, Fosa Juniors FC. The club complained that the Soweto giants didn’t duly compensate them for the acquisition of their player, Andriamirado Aro Hasina Andrianamimanana in 2018. Kaizer Chiefs entered a new contract with the midfielder while he still had a contract with Fosa Juniors FC.

CAS dismissed the Chiefs’ appeal in October 2020. As such, they had to wait for nine months before bringing new players to Naturena. While still serving the ban, many players were linked to Kaizer Chiefs. However, in July 2021, they unveiled their first set of new arrivals which include marquee signings of Keagan Dolly from the French Ligue1 side, Montpellier and Cole Alexander from the Indian side, Odisha FC. Amakhosi confirmed the arrivals of six new players in July 2021 and before the opening of the 2021/2022 PSL season, the franchise has acquired the signatures of nine players.

Coach Stuart Baxter hopes to bring back Kaizer Chiefs’ glory days with the massive signings as he did in his previous stint at the club when he clinched two Premier Soccer League titles in three seasons (2012-2015). The nine players signed by Baxter include Keagan Dolly, Brandon Petersen, Cole Alexander, Phathutshedzo Nange, Sifiso Hlanti, Austin Thabani Dube, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Kgaogelo Sekgota, and Njabulo Ngcobo. While some of the players signed on a free transfer, some were acquired in a transfer deal worth tens of millions of rands. Meet the Kaizer Chiefs’ new signings for the 2021/2022 season.

1. Keagan Dolly

  • Age: 31
  • Former Club: Montpellier
  • Transfer Fee: Free Transfer
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Left-Winger

Talented footballer, Keagan Dolly has been associated with many clubs in the Premier Soccer League throughout his career. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on January 22nd, 1993. He started his youth career at Westbury Arsenal and SAFA School of Excellence before moving to Mamelodi Sundowns Youth Development Academy where he honed his playing skills for six years, from 2005 to 2011. Also, the left-winger played in the youth development academy of Ajax Cape Town, and there, he eventually kicked off his senior career. From 2012 to 2014, Keagan made 39 appearances for the club, scoring four goals. He also clinched the Premier Soccer League Young Player Award for the 2013/2014 season while there.

Following his amazing performances on the field, the skilled player made a return to Mamelodi Sundowns as his services were needed by the franchise. He joined the club in the 2014/2015 season and played 34 games with the team, scoring a total of five goals. In the 2015/2016 season, Keagan Dolly was included in the squad that played the CAF Champions League and the DStv premiership for Sundowns. The team moved on to win the league title that season and got qualified to participate in the 2016 Orange CAF Champions League. He, along with Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro, that formed the formidable CBD combination, led Masandwana to the CAF Champions League victory in 2016.

Having established himself as an elite player at Sundowns, Keagan Dolly was bought by the French club, Montepellier in January 2017 on a transfer deal valued at £1.5 million. He played 56 games with the team and found the back of the net once. The famed athlete then left Montpellier in July 2021, joining Kaizer Chiefs on a free transfer. His transfer fee is yet to be disclosed but it is believed that the star player’s transfer deal is worth tens of millions of rands, as he is currently said to be the highest-earning player at Kaizer Chiefs. Keagan is reportedly earning a monthly salary of R1.45 million and this also makes him the highest-earning player in the Premier Soccer League.

2. Austin Thabani Dube

  • Age: 31
  • Former Club: Richards Bay
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Centre-Back

On July 20th, 2021, Austin Thabani Dube was announced as Kaizer Chiefs’ seventh signing. He was signed on a three-year deal with a further two years renewal option, however, his transfer fee is still undisclosed. He was acquired from the National First Division side, Richards Bay, and this is his first time playing in the Premier Soccer League. Amakhosi picked interest in the youngster due to his promising displays during the 2021 COSAFA Cup which he played with the Bafana Bafana squad.

The left-footed central defender started five of the six games played by the team and helped Bafana Bafana to clinch the COSAFA Cup in July 2021. In the early stages of his career, Austin Dube had stints at diverse clubs in the National First Division which includes Witbank Spurs and TS Galaxy. He first got associated with Witbank where he spent two years (2016 to 2018), making 18 game appearances for the franchise. He also scored two goals while there before getting signed by TS Galaxy. Austin Dube played 40 games with the team and scored two goals.

He also won the Nedbank Cup with the franchise in the year 2019 as TS Galaxy defeated Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the competition. Dube spent only one season at Richards Bay, having joined the club in 2019. He was born in Ermelo, South Africa on November 16th, 1992.

3. Njabulo Ngcobo

  • Age: 30
  • Former Club: Moroka Swallows FC
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Centre-Back

South African pro footballer, Njabulo Ngcobo was named the Premier Soccer League defender of the 2020/2021 season. He began his playing career in AmaZulu and was promoted to the senior team in the year 2016. After making 20 game appearances for the club, he was sent on loan to the National First Division side, Richards Bay in 2017. He played for two years with the team and moved on to join Uthongathi in 2019. Ngcobo later signed with Moroka Swallows in 2020 and played 28 games during the one season he spent at the franchise. He also scored one goal for the team.

The skillful defender was unveiled as one of Kaizer Chiefs’ new signings on July 4th, 2021. He penned a three-year contract with Amakhosi which will expire on June 30th, 2024. His transfer fee has not been made available. However, he currently has a market value of €400 thousand. Besides being known for his exploits in the Premier Soccer League, the center-back has also made a name for himself as a South Africa international. He was part of the South Africa national team that played in the 2021 COSAFA Cup. He played with the team in the tournament’s six matches and helped Bafana Bafana lift the Cup by scoring a goal in the semi-final game against Mozambique.

Despite being the reigning PSL Defender of the Season, the player has been benched in some of Kaizer Chiefs matches this season including the MTN8 game against Mamelodi Sundowns and PSL game against TS Galaxy. Njabulo Ngcobo, nicknamed “Roadblock” for his defensive skills, was born on May 27th, 1994, in Umthwalume, South Africa.

4. Sifiso Sandile Hlanti

  • Age: 34
  • Former Club: Moroka Swallows FC
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2023
  • Playing Position: Left-Back

Born in Durban, South Africa, on May 1st, 1990, Sifiso Sandile Hlanti is a deft left-back and one of the new signings of Kaizer Chiefs. Prior to joining the Soweto giants, he started training with the team in September 2020 when Chiefs were still serving the two years window transfer ban. He eventually signed a two-year contract with the club on July 9th, 2021 and the details of the deal are yet to be disclosed. Throughout his professional career spanning over a decade, Sifiso Hlanti has played for a good number of teams. He joined Lamontville Golden Arrows in 2011 and the next year, he was signed by Chippa United.

Thanda Royal Zulu then acquired his services in the 2012/2013 season. He played 23 games for the franchise, scoring one goal. He left the club for AmaZulu in 2013 and there, he had a three-year stint. Though he didn’t score a goal during his time at the club, Sifiso Hlanti made 41 game appearances with the team. He later joined Bidvest Wits in the year 2016 and scored three goals during the four years he spent with the team. The left-back played 118 games at Bidvest Wits and won Black Label Cup, as well as the PSL title for the 2016/2017 season. He signed with Moroka Swallows FC in 2020.

He spent only one season there, playing in 16 matches and scored one goal. More so, Hlanti was called up for international duty as a member of the South Africa national team in March 2016 under the management of coach Ephraim Mashaba. Since then, he has made 24 game appearances with the Bafana Bafana squad. He has played in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games, World Cup qualifying games, Africa Cup of Nations matches, and international friendlies.

5. Sibusiso Gideon Mabiliso

  • Age: 25
  • Former Club: AmaZulu
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2023
  • Playing Position: Left-Back

South African defender, Sibusiso Gideon Mabiliso joined Kaizer Chiefs in July 2021 from AmaZulu. His transfer fee is undisclosed, however, he is said to be worth €825 thousand on the transfer market. The left-back signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs which will elapse on June 30th, 2021. He was born on April 14th, 1999 in Rustenburg, North West, South Africa. He had his youth career at the Platinum Stars Youth Development Academy and then kickstarted his senior career at AmaZulu in the year 2018. Sibusiso made 85 game appearances with the team and scored one goal, providing 4 assists. He played the Telkom Knockout with AmaZulu as well as the Nedbank Cup competition.

Also, Sibusiso Mabiliso is part of the South Africa national team that played in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, as well as World Cup qualification matches in 2021. The defender made his debut for the SA national team on June 10th, 2021 with Hugo Broos as the head coach. He played in the international friendly match against Uganda in June 2020 which South Africa won 3-2. He was also named to the squad that played in the Group G World Cup qualification games but wasn’t in action as he was left on the bench throughout the two matches. Sibusiso Mabiliso is currently under Luso Africa Player Management.

6. Phathutshedzo Nange

  • Age: 32
  • Former Club: Stellenbosch FC
  • Transfer Fee: Free Transfer
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2023
  • Playing Position: Defensive Midfield

A defensive midfielder, Phathutshedzo Nange has been playing in the PSL since 2014. He began his senior career at the Black Leopards in 2014 and spent five years at the club. He played 91 games with the team and found the back of the net 15 times. Leaving Black Leopards in 2019, Nange joined Bidvest Wits and spent only one season with the team. He made 32 game appearances for the franchise, scoring four goals and providing four assists. He played the CAF Confederation Cup with Bidvest as well as the Telkom Knockout, MTN8, and Nedbank Cup.

He then moved to Stellenbosch FC in 2020 on a free transfer. While there, he scored five goals and provided three assists in the total games of 24 he played for the club. He was released by Stellenbosch FC in 2021. As a result, the midfielder joined Kaizer Chiefs as a free agent in July 2021 and his contract will expire on June 30th, 2023. He has played for the Chiefs in the MTN8 competition and equally in DStv Premiership games. The player currently has a market value of €350 thousand. While at Black Leopards, he was earning an annual salary estimated at €25,000. He is presently said to be pocketing a monthly salary of about R150,000.

Besides playing as a defensive midfielder, Phathutshedzo Nange also plays as a central midfielder and right-back as well. His birthdate is December 11th, 1991 and his place of birth is Shanzha, Limpopo, South Africa. He is the son of retired Black Leopards and Dynamos player, Tshilidzi Nange. He is a graduate of Tshwane South College where he studied Electrical Engineering.

7. Cole Alexander

  • Age: 35
  • Former Club: Odisha FC
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Midfielder

Another of Kaizer Chiefs’ new player, Cole Alexander is a central midfielder with a playing career spanning over a decade and a half. Before beginning his senior career at Ajax Cape Town in the year 2008, he first honed his football playing skills at many local clubs during his youth career. He first moved to Leeds Lentegeur before joining Santos and Seven Stars. He later joined Hellenic FC and Ajax Cape Town Youth Development Academy in 2004. Cole was named to the Ajax Cape Town first team four years later. He played for the club for six years, making 43 game appearances. While there, he was sent on a loan to Vasco da Gama during the 2010/2011 season and equally Chippa United in the 2012/2013 season.

He joined Polokwane City in 2014. Cole Alexander played 52 games and scored four goals during his two years stint at the club. Later in 2016, his services were acquired by SuperSport United and there, he won the MTN8 Cup in the 2017/2018 season. The midfielder subsequently joined Bidvest Wits in 2018 as a free agent. He scored four goals in the 57 total game appearances he made for the club. For the 2020/2021 season, Cole was signed by coach Stuart Baxter at Indian Super League side, Odisha FC on a free transfer. There, he spent only one season, playing 15 games and scoring three times.

Cole Alexander was then lured to Kaizer Chiefs by his former coach, Stuart who was named Amakhosi’s coach for the 2021/2022 season. After reaching a mutual agreement with Odisha FC in July 2021, he terminated his contract with the franchise and joined Kaizer Chiefs. The well-known footballer was born on July 9th, 1989 in Cape Town, South Africa. He was raised by his parents in the Lentegeur neighborhood of Mitchells Plain. Before completing his basic education at Witterbone High School located in Wynberg, he attended Latana Primary School and Golden Groove Primary School. Cole tied the knot with the love of his life, Jamie Crowie, daughter of retired footballer Duncan Crowie in March 2019.

8. Kgaogelo Sekgota

  • Age: 27
  • Former Club: Moroka Swallows FC
  • Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Right-Winger

Nicknamed Kigi, Kgaogelo Sekgota began his football playing career as a right-winger at Polokwane United Youth Development Academy in 2012. Later in 2017, he was signed by FC Stumbras Kaunas, and there, he put to a start his senior career. He scored two goals in the 30 game appearances he made for the club and equally provided 5 assists. Sekgota lifted the Lithuanian Football Cup with the team in 2017 and won the Lyga Player of the Month Award (May) in the next year. Later in 2019, he joined Vitória Setúbal FC and had a one-year stint at the franchise, playing fourteen games. Kgaogelo Sekgota was signed by Bidvest Wits in 2020 and in that same year, he signed for the Moroka Swallows FC.

There, he participated in the Nedbank Cup competition and played a total game of 24 with the team. He scored three goals and provided two assists before signing for Kaizer Chiefs in July 2021. His transfer fee has not been made public knowledge, nevertheless, the player is reportedly worth €350 thousand on the transfer market. As a member of the South Africa national team, Kgaogelo Sekgota represented his country during the 2019 COSAFA Cup. He made his debut in the tournament’s semi-final match against Uganda in June 2019. In addition to playing as a right-winger, Kigi also plays as a second striker and left-winger. He was born in Polokwane on June 22nd, 1997.

9. Brandon Petersen

  • Age: 29
  • Former Club: Bidvest Wits
  • Transfer Fee: Free Transfer
  • Contract Duration: June 30th, 2024
  • Playing Position: Goalkeeper

Brandon Petersen started training with Kaizer Chiefs in the 2020/2021 season before being signed by the club in July 2021. He moved to Naturena as a free agent following the expiration of his contract at Bidvest Wits. Besides Bidvest, the goalkeeper has also been associated with Ajax Cape Town where he spent six years and made appearances in 62 games. His youth career took off at Trinitarians Youth Development Academy. He also developed his skills at the Ajax Cape Town Youth Development Academy.

Throughout his career, Brandon has participated in many competitions, including MTN8, CAF Confederation Cup, Nedbank Cup, Carling Black Label Cup, and Telkom Knockout. He led the Amakhosi to a Carling Black Label Cup victory with heroic penalty shootout saves in August 2021. He saved two shots during the tense shootout that ended 4-3 as Kaizer Chiefs defeated Orlando Pirates in the Black Label Cup finals held at Orlando Stadium. Brandon Petersen was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on September 22nd, 1994.

Amakhosi’s Poor Finish in The 2020/2021 Season Also Account For Their Massive Signings

After missing out on the Premier Soccer League title in the 2019/2020 season, Kaizer Chiefs were expected to be one of the title contenders that would challenge Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance in the DStv premiership as the team has won South Africa’s top football prize multiple times since 2013. Sundowns have only failed to be crowned PSL Champions in 2015 and 2017. The club outshined Kaizer Chiefs in the 2019/2020 title race on the season’s final matchday when Chiefs drew 1-1 with Baroka FC and Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Black Leopards 3-0.

Consequently, Sundowns finished the season as League champion with 59 points while Chiefs finished second place with 57 points. Coming into the 2020/2021 season, Kaizer Chiefs reached the CAF Champions League final for the first time in the history of the club. However, their hope of lifting the much-coveted trophy was dashed to pieces when Happy Mashiane received a red card at the dying minutes of the first half following a reckless tackle on Al Ahly’s defender. As a result, the Glamour Boys were defeated 3-0 by the Egyptian giant, Al Ahly in the final.

Kaizer Chiefs then walked away with R18.2 million instead of the R36.4 million they would have won in prize money if they had defeated Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final. Adding to their woeful experience in the 2020/2021 season, the Chiefs finished 8th place in the Premier Soccer League. They ended the season with 36 points, the same as TS Galaxy that ended ninth place due to goal difference. Kaizer Chiefs played 30 PSL games in the 2020/2021 season and won 8; lost 10; and drew 12.

Kaizer Chiefs signings
Kaizer Chiefs’ team (Image Source)

The team scored 34 league goals and conceded 37 goals, finishing with a goal difference of -3. Furthermore, Amakhosi reached the MTN8 semi-final and were knocked out from the Nedbank Cup competition in the round 32 stage last season. Having finished below expectations, Gavin Hunt was relieved of his duties as Kaizer Chiefs coach. He was replaced with former South Africa national team coach, Stuart Baxter who brought good times to Naturena during his three years stint from 2012 to 2015.

Is Kaizer Chiefs Building a New Team?

Following Stuart Baxter’s arrival at Naturena during the offseason, he began strengthening the squad depth by bringing new additions to the club. He brought in much-needed fresh blood who are still in their 20s. With Chiefs acquiring the signature of left-footed central defender, Austin Thabani Dube from Richards Bay, he would likely challenge for the starting IX spot with already known defenders at the club like Daniel Cardoso and Erick Mathoho. He might also relegate to the bench another new center-back signing, Njabulo Ngcobo.

However, Ngcobo has crowned the best defender in the DStv premiership at the end of his debut season with Moroka Swallows and he is most likely to become the coach’s choice center-back as the team aims to reinforce their weak defense. It’s still uncertain whether Baxter will be playing only with the two new center-backs or would be pairing them up with the already established central defenders at the club. Kaizer Chiefs also signed two new left-backs which raise the question of the need to sign a second left-back in the person of Sibusiso Mabiliso when Hlanti who is more experienced was already considered.

The two signings will also contend playing time with Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, a natural left-back who was placed on the Kaizer Chiefs’ transfer list during the offseason but has been included in the team for the 2021/2022 season. Furthermore, the arrival of defensive midfielder Phathutshedzo Nange could mean that Chiefs’ defensive midfielders, Anthony Akumu, Bernard Parker, and Njabulo Blom will be playing a limited number of games this season. Goalkeeper Brandon Petersen would also be embroiled in a first-choice goalkeeper battle with Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi.

Former Swallows FC winger, Kgaogelo Sekgota is expected to form a formidable combination with Khama Billiat. On the other hand, there is a curiosity to see if Stuart Baxter will recreate CBD formidable partnership with Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat, and Keagan Dolly. The trio in 2016 charged Mamelodi Sundowns to CAF Champions League victory. With many established players at Kaizer Chiefs building a reputation for themselves in the league, it’s unlikely for coach Stuart Baxter to build a whole new team with the new signings, of which some lack vital playing experience.

Coach Baxter Creates a New Team By Blending The Old Players With The New Ones

Despite signing nine new players for the 2021/2022 season, Kaizer Chiefs went on to renew the contracts of some of their key old players. They include Lebogang Manyama, Itumeleng Khune, Bernard Parker, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, and Khama Billiat. Thus far in the new season, coach Baxter has built a new team at Kaizer Chiefs by blending the old players with the new signings. In their first three outings for the season, the Glamour Boys recorded a 0-0 draw against TS Galaxy; a 2-1 victory over Baroka FC; and a 2-0 loss to Masandwana. They suffered defeat at the hands of the League champions, Mamelodi Sundowns on September 12th, 2021 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Chiefs put up an impressive performance that would have landed them a win or at least a draw, having been awarded a penalty kick in the game which was missed by Lebogang Manyama. Nevertheless, the team’s lack of finishing prowess was a big concern throughout the game as they missed a lot of good chances. The newly built team played some promising football as Austin Dube was paired with Erick Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso at the left-back while another new arrival, Sifiso Hlanti was deployed to the right-back along with Njabulo Blom.

Midfielders, Phathutshedzo Nange and Cole Alexander formed a formidable combination at the middle of the park, sensationally controlling the pace of the game. Keagan Dolly played in the attacking position alongside Samir Nurkovic and Khama Billiat. Though their fans appeared to be a little bit concerned about the team’s scoring record so far this season, the squad possibly looks like one that can challenge for the league title and equally pick up some cup silverware.

The Soweto Giants Offloaded Seven Players Ahead of The 2021/2022 Season

In preparation for the 2021/2022 season, Kaizer Chiefs released some old players in order to make way for the new signings. They have been holding on to these players following the FIFA window transfer sanction on the club which made it impossible for them to buy new ones. However, with the expiration of the ban, Amakhosi released seven of their players, wishing them well in their future endeavors. The announcement which was made on July 27, 2021, stated that only ten players would be retained for the new season while many will be released and a few will be placed on the transfer list.

Among those released from the club is veteran Zimbabwean defender, Willard Katsande. He joined Chiefs in the year 2011 from Ajax Cape Town and holds a record in the franchise as the foreign player with the most caps (326 games). He was left with no choice but to leave the club when his contract expired and was not renewed by the Kaizer Chiefs. Kgotso Moleko is another defender whose contract was not extended. He joined Chiefs from Bloemfontein Celtic in 2012 and during his stint at Naturena, he lifted two league titles along with two league trophies.

Furthermore, Philani Zulu, who joined the team from Maritzburg in 2017 was released as well. The left-back cum midfielder made 98 game appearances with the Glamour Boys and scored four goals. Goalkeeper Brylon Petersen was also released by Kaizer Chiefs following the signing of Brandon Petersen on a free transfer. Brylon graduated recently with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wits University and might decide to pursue a career in the field, hence putting his football career to hold. The three players made available for other clubs to sign include Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, Yagan Sasman, and Lazalous Kambole.

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