Soweto Derby rivalry takes a twist: Ex Pirates star flies to Turkey with Kaizer Chiefs, leaves Pirates fans fuming


Johannesburg – The Soweto Derby rivalry has taken a dramatic turn, with the news that former Orlando Pirates left-back Bongani Sam has jetted off to Turkey with Kaizer Chiefs, even before his move to Naturena has been officially announced.

The move has left Pirates fans fuming, questioning the timing and the secrecy surrounding the transfer.

Sam, who has been a key player for Pirates in recent seasons, is understood to have agreed to a deal with Chiefs, marking the first major signing for new coach Nasreddine Nabi. The Tunisian tactician, who is set to take the reins at Chiefs for the upcoming 2024/25 season, is currently in Turkey with his new team, overseeing their pre-season training.

"Bongani Sam, the club’s (Chiefs) first signing of the transfer window, was among the travelling party," reported FARPost. "Having secured a deal, Sam from Orlando Pirates looks poised to fill the left-back position previously occupied by Sifiso Hlanti. This signals a potential shift in the team’s defensive line-up."

The news of Sam's departure has come as a surprise to many, with the player's future at Pirates still shrouded in uncertainty. While reports suggest that Sam has already signed a deal with Chiefs, the club has yet to officially announce the transfer, adding to the intrigue surrounding the move.

The timing of Sam's departure, coinciding with Chiefs' pre-season training camp in Turkey, has further fuelled speculation about the transfer. The fact that he is already training with his new teammates suggests that the deal is all but done, despite the lack of an official announcement.

The move has also raised eyebrows about the level of communication between the two clubs, with Pirates fans questioning why Chiefs would be willing to take such a high-profile player without first informing their rivals.

"It's disrespectful to the club and the fans," said one Pirates supporter. "They should have at least informed us before taking our player away."

The transfer of Sam to Chiefs is a significant development in the Soweto Derby rivalry, and it is likely to have a major impact on the upcoming season. Sam's arrival at Naturena is seen as a major coup for Chiefs, who are looking to strengthen their squad under Nabi's leadership.

The left-back position has been a problem area for Kaizer Chiefs in recent seasons, with the departure of Sifiso Hlanti leaving a void in the team's defence. Sam's arrival is expected to address this issue, providing Chiefs with a much-needed boost in the backline.

The move is also a blow to Pirates, who will be looking to replace Sam's experience and leadership in their squad. The Buccaneers are already facing a challenging season, with the departure of several key players and the arrival of a new coach in Jose Riveiro.

The transfer of Sam to Chiefs is a clear indication of the ambition of the two Soweto giants, who are both looking to dominate the PSL in the upcoming season. The move is sure to add further spice to the already intense rivalry between the two clubs, with fans eagerly anticipating the first clash between the two teams in the new season.

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