/ 7 February 2008

PSL transfers a damp squib

With a piqued Jomo Sono effectively placing the move of Liberian international star Anthony Laffor to SuperSport United on ice , the Premier Soccer League (PSL) transfer window closed before next week’s resumption of league fixtures with the distinct feeling that there had been much ado about nothing.

And while the PSL boasted that the registration of almost 150 new players and officials had taken place, most were of a relatively innocuous nature and many others were simply a case of existing contracts being renewed.

Had the dynamic Laffor, one of the most sought-after players in the PSL, moved to SuperSport, it would have been a transfer of considerable magnitude.

But with the talented midfielder’s contract with struggling Cosmos only expiring at the end of the season and SuperSport declining to pay a massive fee for a player who will be free to move to them in a matter of five months without a fee, Laffor’s transfer to the M-Net-owned club will only effectively take place next season.

An incensed Sono, in the meantime, has apparently told Laffor to train with his development players and this could prove costly for a club lying at the bottom of the log and faced with what could be a harrowing challenge to avoid relegation.

A transfer of some note that materialised from Cosmos was that of mesmerising Dipsey Selolwane to log leaders Ajax Cape Town.

Moroka Swallows could benefit from the return of wily former Bafana Bafana veteran Maimane Phiri, and unpredictable ball weaver Scara Ngobese might settle down more comfortably at Thanda Royal Zulu than he did in his last couple of years at Kaizer Chiefs.

Richard Rantjie could also receive more opportunities to demonstrate his talent with Wits University than he had at SuperSport.

No one warranted the ”much ado about nothing” dictum more than defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who growled menacingly that they were signing five top players to halt the slump that gripped them during the first half of the season.

But Sundowns ultimately came up with five players who look at this juncture no better than those they have in harness — although it must be conceded that Uruguayan striker Bryan Benitez is an unknown factor and might be the real McCoy in solving the PSL champions’ scoring shortcomings. — Sapa