Former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Philemon Masinga says coach Pitso Mosimane will find it difficult to choose which foreign internationals to keep or release ahead of the 20198/19 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
The Brazilians are currently in their pre-season camp in the North West province after playing against Botswana’s Township Rollers last weekend.
With ‘Jingles’ having expressed delight in as far as their preparations are concerned, he faces a conundrum of choosing who to register for next season, and Masinga says it is a good headache for the Brazilians mentor.
Currently on their books, Sundowns have Venezuelan playmaker in Gaston Sirino, Ghanaian goalkeeper Razak Brimah, Cote d’Ivorian defender Bangaly Soumahoro, Brazil’s Ricardo Nascimento, Jeremy Brockie from New Zealand as well as two new signings in Ali Meza from Venezuela and Toni Silva who hails from Guinea Bissau.
Moreover, the reigning PSL champions still have number one goalkeeper in Uganda’s Denis Onyango, goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from Zambia and Algerian left back, Fares Hachi who is still part of the squad, according to club's spokesperson Thulani Thuswa.
Coming back to the PSL rules, a club can only register five foreign internationals, and Mosimane will have to choose which players he wants to keep.
Although the man also known as ‘Chippa’ believes it would be good to have a strong team made up of local players for the benefit of the country and the national team, he believes Mosimane will make the best decision for the players and the club.
“I think it’s a difficult one, but he knows which area he wants to reinforce and they are in the Caf Champions League. So, it is justifiable to have a strong team,” Masinga exclusively told Goal.
“I am sure he wants a team that can be able to substitute itself in case of injuries and there is a possibility of losing Percy Tau,” said the former striker.
“I am sure it’s not only (Anthony) Laffor who qualifies for citizenship in the squad. So, he will hope to find a solution on that one,” responded Masinga.
“Yes, this is tough for him as a coach, but I am confident he will make the right decision and it is a good headache for him,” explained the ex-Leeds United striker.
“However, without sounding xenophobic, it would be better to build a strong team with local players and that will benefit the country and the national team,” asserted the Bafana legend.
“There is nothing wrong with building a strong team because Pitso is competitive and his team is doing well, and Sundowns fans are happy,” added chippa.
“At the end of the day, he will sit down with his technical team and assess the players because they are in pre-season, but a player like Brockie cannot be released because he is still adjusting in my view and needs a fair chance to prove himself,” reckoned Masinga.
“With his goalkeepers, he may be forced to sacrifice one because he has signed two foreigners recently, but Mwene and Onyango are two good and experienced goalkeepers – let’s what his decision will be in that department,” said the former Salernitana player.
“Yes, Bangaly did not do very well last season, but there is Rivaldo Coetzee and (Motjeka) Madisha who will provide cover in case Nascimento and (Wayne) Arendse are injured because age is not on their side,” continued the 49-year-old.
“All in all, it is very tough for me to say which player must go or stay because these are good players and he signed them with purpose, and Khama Billiat has left and there could be space. So, let’s see what decision he takes and support him and the club,” said the former striker.
“I wouldn’t be sure or comment on saying Bangaly can be released. I think Pitso likes him and will want to see all his players in terms of shape during the pre-season and take it from there,” concluded Masinga.