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The ‘beating heart’ of Kaizer Chiefs only won 27 international matches?

Kaizer Chiefs legend Willard Katsande played the role of ‘Claude Makelele’ with aplomb.

Katsande was the beating heart of Kaizer Chiefs

Legendary midfield dynamo Willard Katsande was a cult favorite at Kaizer Chiefs and contributed to their most recent trophies. 310 appearances in ten years at the club undoubtedly makes him one of their modern legends. A smart and clever midfielder who played the role of ‘Clause Makelele’, Katsande helped the club to two league titles, in 2013 and 2015. As we all know, this is the latest silverware tasted by Amakhosi players and fans. In 10 completed league campaigns, Katsande made 237 appearances with an average of 23.7 appearances per season. He was the epitome of consistency and reliability, always available for selection and willing to fight for the cause. This man was literally and figuratively the heart of the team.

Captain of the chefs
Ex-Kaizer Chiefs player Willard Katsande expresses his distaste for Pirates. Image: @KaizerChiefs/X

The quality in midfield has dried up

Since 2021, the year Katsande ended his glorious ten-year spell at the club, Chiefs have battled to find real quality in the center of the park. Njabulo Blom left at the end of 2022, so he didn’t have enough time to stamp his authority on the division before heading to the American MLS. The current crop of schemers are mostly on the wrong side of thirty or soon to be. Siyethemba Sithebe is 31, Sibongiseni Mthethwa turns 30 in September, Yusuf Maar turns 29 and Edson Castillo turns 30 next week. Beyond them, 22-year-old Samkelo Zwane is being touted for a move away from Naturena. There is not enough talent in midfield to bridge the gap between youth and experience. If Zwane leaves, there will be no exciting young talent to be enthusiastic about.

Imperial leaders
Ex-Kaizer Chiefs star Blom is enjoying life in the MLS. Image: Instagram@NjabuloBlom45


Venezuelan central midfielder Edson Castillo is reportedly unhappy at Naturena. Zamalek was credited with interest, but the Egyptian giants’ plans to sign the player have been thwarted by a transfer ban. According to Football-Ladumathe player could make a move to Europe, but Chiefs will want to recoup a significant fee.

“It’s tough for both the player (Castillo) and the club (Chiefs). You know that the club recently offered him a new contract to keep him at the club longer. But now the player feels that he is not happy, especially lately. He’s not playing the way he wanted to and that’s affecting him. He has indicated that this could also influence his national team’s (Venezuela) call-up, as he has just returned to the team after a long absence. But maybe management will convince him that he has to wait for the new coach and see what happens next before they can let him go or not. But seriously, he has expressed his dissatisfaction at not playing as first choice more often, especially in the second half of the season,” the source said.

Latest PSL Transfer Rumors Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs’ Edson Castillo leads the warm-up during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Richards Bay at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on December 23, 2023. Image: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

What are your fondest Katsande memories?

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