Many within the South African football fraternity had anticipated that the Bafana Bafana international would come back home and play in the Soweto derby, but instead his decision to join the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions has hurt fans from both Amakhosi and Buccaneers’ camp.
Furthermore, Jali was seen as someone still in love with the Ghost and was set to return home after leaving the club to ply his trade in Belgium for KV Oostende four years go.
However, Amakhosi were reportedly close to agreeing with the player’s handlers in enticing him to switch to Naturena, but there were a number of factors which played in Sundowns’ favour behind the scenes.
According to former Amakhosi defender, Rudolph Gardner Seale, he believes that the player’s decison must be respected because he is not getting younger at all.
Speaking exclusively to Goal , Seale stated that the fact that Chiefs currently don't have coach could have prompted the Matatiele-born player to opt for the Brazilians.
“It could be the players, when he looked at Sundowns their set up and he thought there are better players around him in the midfield,” he exclusively told Goal .
“There are lots of factors that could have worked for Sundowns and the package which could have been better that what was offered at the Chiefs of Pirates,” said Seale.
“Yes there could be players at Sundowns who may be better than what Chiefs or Pirates have, but I am not sure that played a part because combinations can be enforced in training and players can work on how to understand each other,” noted the former player.
“I don’t think it takes years for players to understand each other but it depends on the coach…look, I was a bit shocked to learn about Hlompho’s (Kekana) age,” reacted the former left back.
“I think I read he may retire next year or so, but he doesn’t look like too old and Jali perhaps thought about that because Pitso might have talked about such things,” asserted the former SuperSport United defender.
“Yes, on the other hand, Chiefs do not have a coach and that could be a huge factor in Sundowns’ favour because Pitso played abroad as well,” acknowledged Seale.
“He likes players with a strong mentality and professional attitude,” added the 51-year-old.
Coming to how Pirates or Chiefs fans should feel about ‘Mxhosa’s move to Chloorkop, the former Bafana Bafana defender urged the fans to accept the player’s decision.
He added that the Soweto derby matches are no longer entertaining compared to a game between the Brazilians and Chiefs or Pirates nowadays.
“I think the fans are different because [they] don’t look at a player’s career and beyond, the Soweto derby is big but what do you benefit from it as a player,” urged Seale.
“The game between Sundowns and Chiefs or Pirates is more entertaining than the Soweto derby to be honest,” he explained.
“If you look at that way, it’s not about fans now, but about the player and what he chose because some fans are educated in football, so I am sure they will understand in the long run,” he continued.
“Jali is 28-years old and is matured at that age, a football career is very short and can be shorter because of injuries and so on,” said the retired player.
“To be realistic, he may have four of five years left in him and he must make the right choices now as a player,” concluded Seale.