Andile Jali to Kaizer Chiefs: Amakhosi must prove they’re still South Africa’s big boys

Andile Jali, Mamelodi Sundowns, April 2022Backpagepix

Since talk linking Andile Jali with a move to Kaizer Chiefs has intensified, it seems more and more ex-Mamelodi Sundowns players are attempting to convince the club not to let the midfielder go to Naturena.

First of all, Roger Feutmba outlined his beliefs that Jali’s attributes would be major assets for the Brazilians in the Caf Champions League later this year, even if they may not require his services to clinch the league title.

“Remember at Sundowns it’s not only about the league but there’s Champions League as well,” he told the South African media. “Jali’s experience and maturity will always be important for Sundowns in the Champions League, so I wish to see him staying.”

Manqoba Ngwenya has agreed, insisting that the ‘rare breed’ is such a hard-to-find player that he absolutely must be kept at Sundowns at all costs.

“Last season he was one of the best players in the league and [on Tuesday] he showed that he’s still quality,” Ngwenya began. “Jali must stay.”

Rhulani Mokwena Mamelodi Sundowns.Backpagepix.

If Rhulani Mokwena and Sundowns are listening to the advice they’re getting, they’d likely dig their heels in and refuse any approach from Chiefs for the midfielder’s services during the ongoing transfer window.

They surely see his value in and around the camp—witness the fan banter insisting Jali doubles up as the club’s fourth assistant coach—while Feutmba’s point that he has a role to play in Sundowns’ pursuit of continental gold is a good one.

However, as long as Sundowns refuse to offer the veteran a new contract, there is absolutely an opportunity here for Chiefs to exploit.

The Glamour Boys must recognise that, following Mike Makaab’s admissions on Gagasi FM recently, that there is discord between player and club, and that Jali’s camp are clearly not happy with his current role at the reigning champions.

This is an opportunity for Chiefs not only to snap up one of the finest South African players of his generation for some of his final peak years, but also for the Amakhosi to inflict pain on one of their oldest rivals in the top flight.

This uncertainty around Jali’s future, and the fact that his profile would be a perfect fit for Chiefs’ midfield following the departure of Njabulo Blom, means that Chiefs have a golden opportunity to make an investment for their short-term future.

They also have the chance to prove that they still ought to be considered the PSL’s top dogs, capable of attracting some of the league’s most established names…even from the Brazilians

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