Bidvest Wits has just announced the signing of Steven Pienaar on a free transfer to confirm the end of his illustrious overseas career. While we all agree that this is a great signing by Hunt’s side, I’m not sure everyone fully comprehends the magnitude of this signing.
Signing Pienaar is a just as strategic a move as when Wits signed Klate, Pelembe and the likes. Those signings ended up being just as important for their intangible impact as they were for their were impact on the field that can actually be quatified. The addition of experienced heads meant more leaders for Wits and that is one aspect that pushed Wits to the finish line ahead of it’s competition this time. On the field, Pelembe proved especially valuable in the absence of Mahlambi in the first half of the season while Klate was consistent all season long. But as important as they proved on the pitch they were just as important off it; if not more.
The signing of Pienaar will add to that. His talent on the ball can not be doubted -he’s shined alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder & Gareth Bale, among others- it is his guidance of the plethora of talented youngsters at Bidvest stadium that will really take the club to the next level. Pienaar’s role at Wits will be as much about leading the youngsters to the next level in the field as it is off it.
The good news is that is what he was born to do. He’s always played for teams who are famous for their belief in youngsters; Ajax, Totenham, Borussia Dortmund and Everton. Throughout his career he’s played and won titles with exciting youngsters and being at Wits feels like it was Destiny all along.