ON-LOAN Baroka FC striker Gift Motupa is set for a surprise return to Orlando Pirates in the January transfer window.
The Buccaneers have not, however, abandoned their search for a prolific striker to solve their goal-scoring problem.
The recall of Motupa will be seen as an effort by the team to strengthen a strikeforce that has only managed to rattle the net 11 times in 15 matches this season.
It is understood that Bucs were eyeing Mamelodi Sundowns’ Leonardo Castro, who has been snapped up by Kaizer Chiefs, a team also facing similar challenges.
Frustrated Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic has pulled up short of conceding defeat in his efforts to get his strikers firing.
Considering that Thamsanqa Gabuza is their current leading league scorer with three goals, Sredojevic’s laments ring true.
According to a source close to the player, the current state of affairs necessitated the recall of 2016 Olympian Motupa, who has been working to regain his form at Bakgaga.
Explained the source: “Gift has been recalled by the Pirates management to help the club up-front, as other strikers are struggling to score. He will resume training with Pirates after the festive break.”
The 23-year-old has banged in five goals in the league in 11 matches so far this season, his last coming against AmaZulu last month.
It was his good form at Baroka three seasons ago that first earned him a big move to the Soweto giants.
He netted 18 goals in 50 appearances over two seasons, leading to Baroka’s promotion to the PSL.
But he could not reproduce the same form in the Pirates shirt, as he only managed a single goal in 25 matches two seasons ago.
It didn’t go much better for the stocky forward last season, as he scored only once in nine appearances.
Motupa agreed to a loan move to his former club in the hopes of getting more game-time – and the move has paid off, with the player showing glimpses of his old swashbuckling form this season.