Mamelodi Sundowns may have only recently been crowned 2017/18 Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions but now the important business starts as they look to continue their dominance domestically.
The Brazilians will hope not to follow the example of rivals Bidvest Wits as they look to bolster their squad ahead of the new campaign, while at the same time maintaining their competitiveness.
Coach Pitso Mosimane has undoubtedly built a squad worthy of being called PSL champions, but there is still some dead rubber that the club should look to part with, while keeping others at the club.
PLAYERS WHO SHOULD LEAVE
The attacker was loaned out to SuperSport United for the second half of the campaign, and he is unlikely to return once the transfer window reopens. Since returning from loan at Bidvest Wits, Ngele failed to crack the nod in the first team and while he is certainly a quality player on his day, he wouldn't be missed.
Since returning from his loan at Bidvest Wits, the Zimbabwean has not even had a look in at Sundowns. Malajila has gone the entire season without making a single appearance. While he is striker with great ability, it does look likely that he will need to find a new home next season.
Another Sundowns player who spent the season out on loan at Ajax Cape Town. The utility player has always been on the fringes of Mosimane’s side, but Sundowns possessing an abundance of talent. It is unlikely that he will stay.
The experienced defender is set to leave the club as his contract expires at the end of the season. Although, the veteran struggled for game time this past season, playing just 22 minutes in the league, the 33-year-old can still be useful for another club with a lack of cover at the back.
The 27-year-old should be commended for the way he has gone about his final year at Sundowns. While there has been much uncertainty, Billiat has still been able to register an impressive eight goals. But the fact remains that Billiat’s heart does not seem to be at Sundowns anymore, and after all he has done for the club, the Zimbabwe international has earned the right to try his hand at another club.
The utility player has been on the fringes for some time at Sundowns, and while he does offer adequate cover with Sundowns looking to bolster their team further, he is likely to be another one of the names heading out the exit door.
Ngobeni recently became a Nedbank Cup champion during his loan stint with Free State Stars, and while his talent cannot be doubted, Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene and Razak Brimah are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
PLAYERS WHO SHOULD STAY
The Algerian full-back did not enjoy the best of seasons but after going out on loan at Chippa United, he should be welcomed back with open arms. It is also important to note that with Tebogo Langerman not getting any younger, Hachi could be a long-term replacement for the South Africa international. Hachi’s return though will depend on how the club manoeuvre around their foreign quota, especially after the acquisition of Guinea-Bissau international Toni Silva.
The Ivory Coast forward was sent out on loan to Ajax Cape Town where he enjoyed a fruitful spell, scoring four league goals in just 10 appearances. If the 27-year-old does return to Sundowns, he will provide adequate cover and with Billiat likely to leave and uncertainty surrounding the future of Percy Tau, his goals may come in handy.
It might not have been the best of starts to life in the yellow half of Tshwane for the New Zealand international, but much will be expected from him in the new season. Brockie may have come with an impressive CV, but he is yet to hit the heights that were expected of him. Mosimane will hope that Brockie kicks into gear next season as he's not only looking to build the team around his lethal attack, but needs cover with Billiat heading out.
This is likely to be the most controversial of names on our list. Tau has been one of the best players in the PSL this past season, scoring 13 goals and registering 17 assists in all competitions. This has led to much speculation regarding his future, with reports of clubs in Europe monitoring the 24-year-old. This leaves Sundowns in a rather precarious situation as a move will do wonders for the player, but at the same time could hamper Sundowns’ attack. Tau has taken over the goalscoring mantle from Billiat, but if he's unable to secure a move to Europe, the left-footed player might as well stay at the club.