Orlando Pirates new signing edging closer to debut - Mandla Ncikazi

Orlando Pirates new signing edging closer to debut - Mandla Ncikazi

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi has explained the delay behind newly-signed Cameroonian international striker Marou Souaibou's debut.

Souaibou was announced by Pirates nearly a month ago but has yet to feature in an official match for the club, who have played four matches since.

The Ghost are itching to see what their new addition can offer after he was also part of the Indomitable Lions' squad at the recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

He was on the bench when Pirates beat All Stars 2-0 in the Nedbank Cup last weekend and Ncikazi suggested he could be making his debut for the club soon.

"What I always say [is], if the language is different from ours, it becomes an [extended] adaptation that you must overcome, but he's doing well, you can see he's a top player and he just has to adapt to how we play," said Ncikazi.

"I'm hoping the adaptation will be [complete] soon, I hope and wish he could have had a chance [against All Stars] but maybe he'll have chances in the coming games."

Asked how the 22-year-old might fit into the Bucs' system, Ncikazi explained: "He can play as a leading striker, he can play [as part of] two strikers on top, he can play on the side when playing 4-3-3, so he's very versatile.

"Let's see how he adapts to the South African game and we are hoping [to get] the best out of him."

A top marksman in the Cameroonian Elite One with 39 goals over the last two years, Souaibou is a proven goal scorer but Ncikazi has shot down pressure for the striker to start firing at Bucs to upstage how Kaizer Chiefs’ Christian Saile has done on the opposite side of Soweto.

"No, the pressure comes from you guys [the media], we don't have. We're just working at our own pace, we're doing the adaptation in our own way and we cannot compare the two," he defended.

"I think the other guy [Saile] was playing in Zambia, where they speak English and the league is different; [Souaibou] is coming from a French-speaking country, away from our [environment] - conditions are totally different and I think it will be unfair to compare the two."

Pirates welcome Maritzburg United and former assistant coach Fadlu Davids to Orlando Stadium at 19:30 this evening.