PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns have thus far made seven signings to help defend their title. Goal examines the merits of each, new BrazilianLuyolo Nomandela, Siyanda Zwane, Bonginkosi Ntuli, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Asavela Mbekile, Rheece Evans and Mario Booysen have all been brought in by the Tswhane heavyweights as their preparation towards the defense of their title starts in August.
Nomandela was signed in January on a pre-contract from Free State Stars much to the delight of the club's supporters. But, having players of similar quality that won the club its first title since 2007, was it really necessary to bring in Nomandela?
Yes, they will play a lot of matches this season with the Orange Caf Champions League coming into the picture, but Nomandela aside, Bongani Zungu, Khama Billiat, Anthony Laffor and Mzikayise Mashaba tells you that they have enough personnel in that positionn to withstand the pressures of all those excursions.
It will be interesting to see what dimension Nomandela brings to the team this season.
Zwane has been the most underrated right-back in the PSL for the last few years. Teaming up with the man who introduced him to the big-time Manqoba Mngqithi, who is assistant to Pitso Mosimane, can make the former Golden Arrows man reach his potential. He is very versatile too.
Ntuli, is according to former Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral "the brightest prospect of SA football," and this move to the champions vindicates that exactly. The question is though, will he be able to last the distance and knock the likes of Cuthbert Malajila, Lebohang "Cheese" Mokoena, Katlego Mashego off the radar? Time will tell.
Mbatha had an impressive season with Platinum Stars, contributing immensely to their MTN8 and Telkom Knockout successes. However, his acquisition is the more sensible of the lot, because his ability to play on either wing with efficiency, and to cut in through to the middle, is what Downs needed all along.
Mbekile's rise to the big-time is nothing but meteoric. He cut his teeth in the big-time when he won promotion with Chippa United in 2012. He wasted no time to move further up, following the Chilli Boys demotion to the second tier this time to Moroka Swallows, where he also played one season before jumping onto the Motsepe bandwagon. As a defensive midfielder, he has his work cut out, as he will be going up against Bafana international Hlompho Kekana.
Evans signing came as a surprise to everyone, but he is huge favourite of coach Mosimane who played a big part in getting him to the club from Maritzburg United. One thing that will be really sad to see is him playing on the sidelines, instead of on the pitch. However, he is a hard worker and seeing that Mosimane is a big devotee of such players, this could save his day and ultimately his career at Chloorkop.
Booysen came along with Evans from the Team of Choice in another purchase that sent shockwaves throughout the entire country. Alongside Thabo Nthethe, and captain Alje Schut, they will form an imperious centre-half combo, a lot like the Morgan Gould, Eric Mathotho, Tefu Mashamaite combination at the Glamour Boys. In actual fact, they will be a lot like Gould and Bongani Khumalo during Supersport United's three-haul Premiership heroics.