On Wednesday, Bidvest Wits the current Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions shocked the World of football by announcing that they have signed former Sunderland and Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar.
The signing signalled the homecoming of one of South Africa’s most traveled and established midfielders.
The move which is likely to light up the PSL is perhaps the biggest transfer thus far in the transfer window
Here are Top five reasons Pienaar’s return to the PSL is a welcome one:
6. He will bolster the PSL champions and the PSL at large.
If you are looking to defend the ABSA Premiership title, you need to strengthen your squad.
Bidvest Wits have done what is required for them to mount another title challenge.
The signing of Pienaar and Daylon Classen is a stern warning the so called big three Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
The superstar, who was heavily linked with a move to Sundowns or Chiefs, opted for the Clever Boys and will no doubt add dimension and depth to the Bidvest Wits team.
5. His credentials, CV talent are unparalleled.
The former Bafana Bafana playmaker has played in Germany, Holland and England, plying his trade in Europe for 16 years.
He was named Everton’s Player of the Season in 2009-10.
He comes with the experience of the English Premier League. His credentials show exactly what he’ll be bringing to South African football:
- Ajax Cape Town – 24 Apps, 6 Goals ⚽️
- Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) – 94 Apps, 15 Goals ⚽️
- Borussia Dortmund (Germany) – 25 Apps, 0 Goals
- Everton (England) – 175 Apps, 20 Goals ⚽️
- Tottenham Hotspur (England) – 10 Apps, 0 Goals
- Sunderland (England) – 15 Apps, 0 Goals
- Bafana Bafana – 61 Apps, 3 Goals ⚽️
- Everton Player of The Year: 2009-10.
4. He is a fan favourite with good sportsmanship.
Bafana Bafana fans lost so much when Pienaar retirement from international duties early in his career.
His home coming will excite his fans and restore pride in those who thought he would never come home.
South Africans would love to see their own son perform and entertain them.
3. He followed the footsteps of Benni McCarthy.
Stephen Pienner followed the footsteps of Benni McCarthy who returned to South Africa in 2011.
PSL football fans have a special place in their hearts for players who return to the country. Pienaar’s homecoming is likely to bring more fans to stadiums to watch Schillo first-hand in the 2018 season.
He is likely to light up the league with his style of play.
2. There is space for Stars abroad who wants to come home.
Like McCarthy, Pienaar’s return will hopefully trigger a butterfly effect of international stars who wants to return to the PSL.
With his return to the PSL, perhaps international stars will consider the South African league when winding down their playing careers.
This would boost the rating of and excitement in the domestic league as superstar players attract fans and endorsements.
1. He is a born winner and will want to win the title.
He is a workaholic and with his individual qualities he would like to win titles with Wits.
He has won lots of awards to prove it, including Safa Player of the year 2009 and Ajax Talent of the Year 2003.
He will want to win titles to end his career successfully.
Pienaar has signed a one-year contract so he has a single shot at glory in his quest to win a league trophy for the first time in 13 years.
- Ajax Cape Town
- Rothman’s Cup: 2000
- Ajax Amsterdam
- Eredivisie: 2001–02, 2003–04
- KNVB Cup: 2001–02, 2005–06
- Johan Cruijff Shield: 2002, 2005
- Ajax CT Young Player of the Season: 2000
- AFC Ajax Talent of the Year: 2003
- SAFA Player of the Year: 2009
- Everton Player of the Season: 2009–10