- Mailula is in his debut PSL season
- He has set himself on a terrific scoring path
- Already being touted as a big prospect in SA football
WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old has scored seven league goals, two fewer than Sundowns teammate Peter Shalulile who leads the scorers’ chart.
Mailula is in his debut top-flight season, having made his professional debut in September 2022. But he became an instant hit and already comparisons have been drawn between him and Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau.
Even the departure of Kermit Erasmus to Orlando Pirates was not felt as Mailula stepped in to quickly establish himself as a key player in a star-studded Masandawana squad.
Hungry for success, Mailula does not hide his ambitions, boldly declaring his keenness to further raise his game and win the Caf Champions League, a title that has been eluding the Brazilians in recent times.
WHAT MAILULA SAID: “I have to improve in certain aspects of my game. But so far so good because I'm scoring goals and I'm always in the right position,” Mailula told Sundowns media.
“I have to improve on helping the team keep the ball and I think my game is going to another level. I want to play in the Champions League, I want to win it.
“It gives me confidence that it is actually possible. I just have to keep on going and stay humble, stay grounded and listen to the coaches because they are the ones who help me stay calm and humble.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mailula is arguably the biggest revelation in the PSL this season and his emergence has exposed Kaizer Chiefs’ development project. Over the years, Amakhosi’s academy graduates have failed to make an influence in the PSL.
Most Chiefs' young players are struggling to cope with the demands of top-flight league football except for Njabulo Blom who recently moved to the Major League Soccer side St Louis City FC.
Interestingly, some Chiefs first-team players came through coach Arthur Zwane’s hands in development and they include Siyabonga Ngezana, Happy Mashiane, Sabelo Radebe and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo but they are yet to make a huge impact.
Even recently promoted Samkelo Zwane, Mduduzi Shabalala, Aden McCarthy and Wandile Duba have not yet convinced that they can become big stars in South African football.
STORY IN THREE PICTURES:BackpageBackpagePixBackpagepix.
WHAT NEXT FOR MAILULA? Mailula would be keen to continue with his terrific form.
There are huge expectations on Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos to select the Masandawana star in his squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.