By Mphatso Malidadi
Malawi National Football Team striker Gabadinho Mhango has been handed a lifeline as South Africa’s DStv Premiership side AmaZulu looks set to snap him away from Orlando Pirates.
Mhango has endured a bad season at Pirates, where his appearances were limited despite outstanding performances for The Flames at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in January and February, when he scored three goals.
According to kickoff.com, AmaZulu are believed to have made a statement of intent by reportedly securing Mhango’s signature.
“Yes I can confirm that Gabadinho Mhango is going to AmaZulu,” a source told the online publication.
If the move materialises, Mhango will link up with compatriot and Flames captain Limbikani Mzava.
According kickoff.com, Mhango and Zimbabwean attacker Ishmael Wadi are expected to boost Usuthu’s attacking department next season.
Mhango’s manager Mike Makaab said a deal was yet to be sealed.
“There is nothing agreed upon, only interest from Amazulu,” Makaab said yesterday.
Former Flames and Mighty Wanderers defender Ojukwu Malunga described the impending deal as important for Mhango’s career.
“Moving to another club is important for Gabadinho so that he gets game time. He can only be valued when he is playing regularly. Despite being overlooked at Pirates, he performed well for the Flames at the Afcon finals in Cameroon. His performance showed that he is at the peak of his game,” Malunga said.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu advised the forward to tread cautiously.
“I am not privy to the terms and conditions of the offer but I can only hope it’s for the betterment of his career. He knows best what other offers are available, so he needs to make a decision that is in his best interest at the moment and, most importantly, his future since he is not young anymore,” Nyamilandu said.
He said Mhango needs to weigh other options before putting pen to paper.
“Obviously, there are financial considerations but key for me is guaranteed playing time so that he optimises gains from his career. Gabadinho needs a good environment for his career to flourish.
“He also needs to evaluate the culture at Amazulu if it is any different from that at Orlando.
There has to be a conducive environment that will nurture his talent and support him to perform at his best,” the Fam boss said.
Mhango is also wanted by Pirates archrivals Kaizer Chiefs and Tanzanian side Simba SC, among others.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets star striker won the joint Premier Soccer League (now DStv Premiership) top goal-scorer award alongside Namibian Peter Shalulile (then playing for Highlands Park) with 16 goals each during the 2019- 20 season.
Mhango moved to South Africa in 2014. He first joined Bloemfontein Celtic before signing for Bidvest Wits.
He later featured for Golden Arrows prior to making the big move to Pirates.