With the dust finally settling and Mamelodi Sundowns enjoying a well-deserved break following a successful campaign, the Tshwane giants’ technical team will now turn their attention to the next season.
Football waits for no one and this means that staying ahead of the game is always important, and Goal looks at some players that could help Sundowns maintain their edge.
Sundowns netted 40 goals this season, but head coach Pitso Mosimane will demand a lot more from his players.
Masandawana recorded 11 draws this past season, and in many cases, these were points dropped due to erratic finishing up front.
Despite bringing in a host of attacking options in recent times, only Lebohang Maboe has stood out.
The 24-year-old was Sundowns’ top scorer with eight league goals and he will need more support especially if the 2016 Caf Champions League winners are to rediscover glory on the continent.
Perhaps a move for a player such as Mwape Musonda, who finished top of the league’s goal-scoring charts with 16 goals is worth a punt.
The 28-year-old is already believed to be on the radar of Kaizer Chiefs, but he could be a potential option for Mosimane and his team.
However, Mosimane recently advised Musonda not to leave Black Leopards where he has found a home after being a relative nomad, which makes a move unlikely.
Aside from the Zambian, Sundowns’ choices are limited if they are to raid the South African market and maybe they would need to look beyond the South African borders in order to unearth another gem as they did with Gaston Sirino.
Aside from upfront, in the middle of the park is where there could be many changes.
With Andile Jali and George Lebese among others having struggled, Mosimane may look to reinforce, and the club have could even raid their crosstown rivals, SuperSport United, something that is not taboo for Sundowns to do.
Aubrey Modiba might be a viable option as his versatility makes him a bright prospect and he could be an ideal option down the left-hand side, where the position has never adequately been filled since the departure of Keagan Dolly.
In the middle of the park, a move for Thabang Monare may also be worth a shout. But the midfielder has been linked with a move to Chiefs in the past.
He could be an ideal replacing for Hlompho Kekana in the long-run, but it is certainly not a position which Sundowns will be desperate to fulfil.
Towards the end of the season, Rivaldo Coetzee was used in a more advanced role and Mosimane may be gearing the 22-year-old up for a change in position.
Perhaps it is at the back where Mosimane might look to the future.
Both Ricardo Nascimento and Wayne Arendse are not getting any younger and this could see Sundowns look beyond the present.
They have already brought on board Mosa Lebusa and Coetzee, but as previously alluded to, Coetzee could be used in midfield perhaps leaving Sundowns a bit light in defence.
But Mosimane has never been one to chop and change especially at the back, and he might not look to sign too many with Motjeka Madisha also still in the squad.
Maybe bringing on board an experienced player such as for Sundowns star Siyanda Xulu or even Orlando Pirates’ forgotten man Justice Chabalala could be an option. Their experience and quality could be key in Sundowns’ pursuit for further success.
Lastly, this is undoubtedly the one position that Sundowns do not have to look to bolster.
Mosimane though has suggested that he might look for a younger keeper with Thela Ngobeni eyeing the exit door and Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene regarded as veterans.
Denis Onyango, in spite of his stellar performances, has also had his own injury woes.
This might make Darren Keet an outside bet.
With Sundowns having deep pockets, Keet could see Chloorkop as an ideal destination should he not move abroad.