COMMENT: How Mamelodi Sundowns should manage their foreign quota

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With Masandawana facing a foreign quota conundrum, Goal looks at what they need to do ahead of the new season

Mamelodi Sundowns have certainly been hard at work attempting to replace some of their stars as they look to remain competitive ahead of the new season.

Masandawana have brought in the likes of Toni Silva and Jose Ali Meza, but this has left the Tshwane giants with a conundrum on their hands as they need to work around their foreign quota.

Premier Soccer League (PSL) rules dictate that a club can only register five foreign internationals that are not neutralized. This leaves the club in a rather tricky position as they have a huge foreign contingent.

Although, the club has several other foreign internationals on their books, they currently have eight who could potentially be registered as foreign players.

Ricardo Nascimento, Bangaly Soumahoro, Razak Brimah, Jeremy Brockie and Gaston Sirino were Sundowns’ most recent foreign contingent.

The likes of Fares Hachi, Yannick Zakri are set to return to the club and Pitso Mosimane has to make a decision on who to release and who to keep.

Yannick Zakri of the Brazilians vs AS Vita Club

For many years, Sundowns have thrived by being able to get their players South African citizenship, and this perhaps could be a solution.

Reports previously suggested that they were already in the process of getting Brockie the South African residency.

Registering the New Zealand international as a local would subsequently allow either Meza or Silva to take up the position.  

This though, does leave the duo of Hachi and Zakri in the wilderness.

The pair were both loaned out last season, but have returned to Sundowns following the conclusion of the past campaign.

Sundowns now have two options - either they once again find a suitor for the pair to be loaned out, or they could cash in.

Both players still have a lot to offer in terms of their football ability and perhaps a loan would be the best option.

This would allow Sundowns to recall the players if they experience injuries at a later stage in the season, but even with Sundowns loaning out or parting ways with the two players, they are still short of spots in their quota.

However, when looking at the list of Sundowns’ foreign imports, the future of Razak Brimah could be decisive.

Razak Brimah of Mamelodi Sundowns

With Kennedy Mweene and Denis Onyango offering Sundowns an able backbone in the goalkeeping department, the club may look to let Brimah go.

Since joining Sundowns, the Ghanaian has struggled for regular first-team football, and a change in fortunes does not look likely for the time being at least.

There is also Thela Ngobeni, who spent the past few seasons out on loan, and if Sundowns are to part ways with Brimah, they surely have a guaranteed replacement.

Lastly, on closer analysis, there is one other name that could be shifted out if Sundowns are to make way for other foreign internationals. That is Soumahoro, who the Sundowns coach has previously suggested was keen on a move abroad.

Mamelodi Sundowns

Soumahoro has not been stingiest defender in the league by any stretch of the imagination, but his contribution in African cannot be undermined.

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With his physical stature, Soumahoro is more of an old school no-nonsense centre-back than an elegant ‘build from the back’ defender.

This could tempt the Sundowns technical team to maybe offload the 26-year-old, especially with Rivaldo Coetzee on the road to recovery.

Moreover, with Motjeka Madisha still young, and Nascimento and Wayne Arendse bringing the experience, Sundowns have a backline that is worthy of winning any South African competition.