Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo has explained why he strongly believes Sipho Chaine he’s been the missing piece of the puzzle for the Sea Robbers.
Chaine penned a deal with Pirates on deadline day of the extended transfer window period in September 2022 from Chippa United.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper was roped in as a backup to the experienced duo of Richard Ofori and Siyabonga Mpontshane.
However, with Ofori on the sidelines due to injury and Mpontshane dropped as a result of poor form, Chaine has been the number goalie in the last seven games for the Soweto giants.
And since then, the 26-year-old kept two clean sheets and conceded only six goals, impressing Mhlongo, a former number-one shot-stopper at Pirates.
Mhlongo has labelled Chaine as the future of Pirates.
“He brings different dynamics around the squad, a very young, exciting goalkeeper, very charismatic,” Mhlongo told FARPost.
“I love his energy, and I love his composure; it is very rare for a young goalkeeper to step into those shoes, given the issues of the Orlando Pirates goalkeeping department.
“So, for him to come in, more especially against [Mamelodi] Sundowns. Most goalkeepers at Pirates tend to shy away a bit once the fans start booing or shouting, more especially when the team is trailing and in teams of build-up play getting curated in terms of kicking the ball forward and all of that.
“But with Sipho, one thing I love about him is he is brave, gives Pirates a good dimension in terms of build-up play. They are comfortable, and technicality is there as well. So, I’m impressed.”
Mhlongo also mentioned the options that Chaine gives Pirates both in attack and defensively.
“His confidence, his courage and his technical ability because he gives them options attacking, and he gives them options and solutions defensively,” added the retired Bafana Bafana goalie.
“So, for me, those are the most key traits of a goalkeeper when it comes to modern football,” said Mhlongo.
Mhlongo further tipped Chaine to finish the rest of the season as the number goalie for Pirates as long as he continues with his current form.
And with the direction that Pirates is currently on with the new coach, Jose Riveiro, Mhlongo believes that having healthy competition within the goalkeeping department will help the team move forward.