After arriving at Kaizer Chiefs with so much hype last season, Gustavo Páez has not come even close to living up to expectations. And now he has been excluded from the 24-man squad registered for the CAF Confederation Cup.
This might easily be interpreted as the writing being on the wall for the striker, who has only seven months of his contract left after signing a two-and-a-half year deal with Amakhosi in January last year.
His failure to cement a regular place in coach Giovanni Solinas’ line-up could easily mean he doesn’t have a future at Naturena.
The Venezuelan has scored only one goal in all competitions this season. The goal came in the team’s 2-0 victory over Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership match at Goble Park in Bethlehem in September.
The forward has played seven matches, starting in three and coming on as a substitute four times. He found the back of the net only three times in 16 appearances last season.
In his first season, he scored five goals, his highest in the black and gold colours, despite arriving in the second half of the season and featuring in 15 games. Chiefs fans will remember him for the two goals he scored in a victory against Acornbush in a Nedbank Cup match. His brace helped Chiefs advance to the quarterfinals.
This week, Solinas left him out of the CAF Confederation Cup squad that won 4-0 against Zanzibar’s Zimamoto in the preliminary round match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday.
Other absentees were defender Kgotso Moleko and Bhongolwethu Jayiya, who has not seen much game time and has done nothing worth mentioning.
Moleko made the right-back position his own a few seasons ago, but he has played only two games this season. He started only once – in their 2-0 win against Ea Lla Koto.
Chiefs can register more players for this tournament if they progress to the later rounds, but have so far decided to stick to 24.