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What do Mamelodi Sundowns need in the transfer window?

7:26 AM GMT 22/07/2017
Pitso Mosimane and Khama Billiat - Sundowns v SuperSport United
With yet another gruelling season ahead, Goal looks at the areas which Masandawana need to bolster

While clubs such as Cape Town City, Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates have been busy trying to bolster their squads ahead of the new season, Mamelodi Sundowns have been relatively quiet.

Some Masandawana fans have grown concerned regarding the Tshwane giants' inactivity in the market, but is it really anything to worry about?

Since Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane took over at the helm, there has certainly been a shift in focus at Chloorkop. Gone are the days where Sundowns splurged on players. Rather, they are now more conservative and target players in specific positions which need reinforcing, and it should be said that they haven’t done too bad with their new approach.

Last season, Mosimane brought in the likes of Sibusiso Vilakazi, Anele Ngcongca and most recently Fares Hachi in the January transfer window, and they have all contributed to Sundowns’ recent success in their own way, but the question still remains, what do Sundowns need in the current transfer window?

Sundowns will, for the second consecutive season enter into their domestic campaign without a proper pre-season with Mosimane choosing to give his players a well-deserved rest, and this will certainly test the depth of their squad.

The Brazilians have also lost Wayne Sandilands and Teko Modise, and there are still mutterings in the corridors of Chloorkop that a few more players could be on their way out. Also, the future of Khama Billiat is still up in the air after the club reportedly received a lucrative offer from the Middle East.

Nonetheless, for now, the African champions will most definitely concentrate on filling the void left by Keagan Dolly. Mosimane himself has alluded to this, and while Themba Zwane has done well following the 24-year-old’s departure to Montpellier, Sundowns are keen on a more long-term replacement and someone who can reciprocate Dolly’s exploits on the left wing.

Sundowns had previously identified Cape Town City’s Aubrey Ngoma, but following a highly publicised spat between the two clubs over the way Sundowns dealt with their interest in him and together with the winger now set to miss out on a considerable portion of the campaign through injury, Mosimane will be forced to look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Sundowns may also be keen on bringing in another centre back. Earlier in the year, Sundowns experienced a defensive crisis which subsequently saw them unearth a gem in Motjeka Madisha, but they may not want a repeat of that with the stakes reaching fever point as they enter the knockout rounds of the Caf Champions League.

Sundowns have also been interested in bringing in Rivaldo Coetzee as a long-term defensive solution, but reports suggest that they may have been deterred by the heavy price tag placed on his head.

However, it should also be noted that with the player going AWOL over a potential move, there is always a possibility of Sundowns re-entering the race if the club decides to drop their price.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Sundowns need to bolster their squad upfront. On many occasions during the past season, Sundowns' lack of venom upfront cost them the league title.

While Billiat contributed eight goals, he suffered an injury ravaged second half of the campaign, and Sundowns' overreliance on him was apparent. There was also Zwane and Percy Tau, who patched with seven goals apiece, but for a club of Sundowns’ calibre this isn’t good enough as they need a striker that can guarantee them at least 15 goals a season.

Jeremy Brockie was deemed the ideal candidate, but following their interest in the player, they were met with the all too familiar ‘not for sale’ signs. There was also talk of Lebogang Manyama joining Sundowns but for the time being, he seems content at the Citizens.

Nevertheless, Sundowns’ future success could possibly rely on whether or not they can capture the services of a proven goal scorer, and Mosimane together with the Sundowns technical team will be hard at work trying to find a more capable player before the transfer window closes at the end of August.  

It is also worth mentioning that Sundowns may consider bringing in another goalkeeper with Sandilands gone, but it is not a must with Thela Ngobeni returning to the club after an impressive season out on loan at Free State Stars.