Aubrey Modiba, Knox Mutizwa, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Golden Arrows vs Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2021Backpagepix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mokwena explains why Vilakazi was released

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has heaped praise on Sibusiso Vilakazi as he discusses the midfielder’s departure.

Vilakazi was on Thursday unveiled as a new TS Galaxy player, a few days after training with Sundowns in their pre-season.

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The move to TS Galaxy comes following weeks of rumours that the midfielder was one of the players facing the exit door.

“If you want to speak about Villa as a footballer, there is not much to say because if you speak of Villa the footballer you run out of superlatives,” said Mokwena as per KickOff.

“His background speaks for itself, a former footballer of the season, multiple championships winning footballer, not just at Sundowns but also won many trophies at Bidvest Wits.

“So we know the footballer we lost and it’s unfortunate we got to that space where we couldn’t guarantee him a game-time which I agree with that he deserves as a top footballer player, unfortunately with us he also had issues of injuries, particularly last season.”

Vilakazi featured in eight Premier Soccer League matches in each of the past two seasons and with his experience, he could become one of the squad leaders at TS Galaxy.

He left Masandawana where his contract was due to expire in June 2024 after he had extended it in July 2020.

Mokwena continued to wax lyrical about the former Bafana Bafana star who had arrived at Sundowns in 2016 from Bidvest Wits.

“Not a lot has been said about Villa as a human being,” Mokwena said.

“Villa is a person who always looks to put the team first, a person always looks at service and not a lot of people know that what you see from Peter Shalulile is because of a lot of influence from Villa in the background.

“Villa has shown to be a top player, a good human being and the human being TS Galaxy received is a player that is experienced and knows how to win but also is an exceptional human being that is going to add a lot to their change room in terms of mentoring and assisting the younger ones.”

The length of Vilakazi’s TS Galaxy deal has not been revealed.

Before leaving the Brazilians, Vilakazi had been linked with Kaizer Chiefs, Sekhukhune United, Royal AM and AmaZulu.

But it was TS Galaxy who won his signature as they beef up their squad after narrowly surviving relegation last season.

The Rockets finished 13th on the PSL table last term and had to confirm their safety on the last day of the campaign.

He was announced as a Rockets player the same day the club confirmed the acquisition of former Orlando Pirates midfielder Xola Mlambo from AmaZulu.

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