Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has revealed why Zakhele Lepasa was allowed to join SuperSport United on transfer deadline day.
Pirates announced the surprise six-month loan move to their domestic rivals on Tuesday morning just hours before the window shut.
It marked a swift change in fortunes for Lepasa who was seemingly becoming a regular feature in the first-team and earned call-ups to the Bafana Bafana squad.
But with Cameroon international striker Souaibou Marou arriving, Evidence Makgopa returning to fitness and the reemergence of Terrence Dzvukamanja, as well as Kermit Erasmus and Bienvenu Eva Nga as options, his chance of game time become limited.
“Well… first of all, I wish all the best to Zakhele, he’s a fantastic guy and a very good football player but as I’ve said before this is a competitive environment, we have 36 players in the squad,” Riveiro said at Rand Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
“There’s no possibility to guarantee minutes to anyone. I understand, not only Zakes but every other player who decides that he needs to play more or feels he would get a possibility to get those minutes [elsewhere].
“It’s something I have to respect as a coach, and accept and hopefully Zakhele can show at SuperSport the player he is.”
The Spaniard feels it’s not something to spend much time debating about as it happens all over the world – but is hopeful the 25-year-old impresses in Tshwane.
“What else can I say? It’s a normal thing in football, especially when we talk about big squads, quality squads like these – it’s difficult to give the players what they deserve, it’s almost impossible.”
Lepasa made 13 appearances for the Buccaneers this season, scoring once for the first-team.