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COMMENT: Can Pitso Mosimane keep all his new signings happy at Sundowns?

21:58 EAT 03/09/2018
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, July 2018
After making a number of new additions, Goal looks at what the Masandawana coach needs to do to keep everyone happy

With the transfer window having come to a close, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane will now be entrusted with identifying the right combinations to lead his side to glory.

While Sundowns have the unenviable task of competing on several fronts, they had the luxury of exploiting the transfer market and their intentions were made as Mosimane brought in a total of eight new players.

However, just bringing in new players isn’t always good enough to make a team successful, rather it’s how they fit into the squad and are able to perform that can make or break a spending spree.

Nonetheless, while bringing in star name may not be too difficult for Sundowns, keeping everyone happy is a challenge that the 54-year-old mentor and his technical team face. 

Lebohang Maboe

Mosimane never hid his admiration for the player and he stopped at nothing to bring the 23-year-old on board. This was despite Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids' utterances that Maboe was not for sale.

Many questioned whether or not this was good move for the playmaker when he initially signed, due to the depth that Sundowns enjoyed in midfield. But to Maboe’s credit, he has remained undeterred and has already bagged a goal for himself which has convinced Mosimane to use him in important games.

With age also on his side, Maboe may look to the likes of Keagan Dolly and Percy Tau, who bided their time at the club but eventually used Sundowns as a springboard onto greater things.

Toni Silva

The Guinea Bissau player has already hit the ground running. While he has taken time to be match fit, Mosimane has already showed his faith in Silva as he was in the starting XI for both legs of their MTN8 semi-final.

Silva though, is fortunate as he is a versatile player, who can play on the wing as well as through the middle, and if the early stages of his Sundowns’ career is anything to go by, he may fill void left by Khama Billiat.

Andile Jali

The South Africa international was probably one of, if not the biggest signing of the transfer window.

When Jali signed many questioned the need for another central midfielder, and while Jali is a luxury player by Sundowns standards, with Hlompho Kekana reaching the other side of 30, he could have an important role to play.

Jali’s versatility also means that he can be used in a defensive midfield or in a more attacking role upfront.

Lyle Lakay

While being deployed as a winger or even a No.10 might prove difficult due to competition for places, Mosimane’s decision to use Lakay at left-back could be seen as a blessing for both the player and Sundowns.

With Tebogo Langerman not getting any younger, Lakay is likely to take over the mantle and his pace as well as attacking ability should see him be Sundowns’ preferred choice. 

Mosa Lebusa 

With Wayne Arendse aging, Lebusa can be seen as the future.

Although, he is able to play as a full-back, it seems that centre-back is where his immediate future lies, and with the experience he possesses, he will be expected to feature regularly as Sundowns 

Jose Ali Meza 

Unlike Gaston Sirino, Meza has had a rather slow start to life in Tshwane. The striker whose work rate has certainly earned him the love of the Sundowns fans, has impressed in his first few games but is yet to find the back of the net.

Coming from South American football, Mosimane knows that it won’t be easy for Meza to acclimatise to football and is likely to display patience. 

Mosimane successfully did this with Leonardo Castro a few season’s back and that patience bore fruit.

Reyaad Pieterse  

Perhaps one of the more puzzling moves of the transfer window.

Pieterse reportedly left SuperSport United in search of more game time. But when it comes to the Tshwane giants, Denis Onyango is seen as Mosimane’s preferred No.1, which does beg the question, how will Pieterse react if he does not play?

The 26-year-old is yet to feature for Masandawana and with Thela Ngobeni, Kennedy Mweene and Onyango in the side, it remains to be seen where the chance of more regular game time will come from.

Phakamani Mahlambi

Lastly, the attacker is seen as South African football’s golden boy but keeping him motivated won’t be all too easy if he does not feature.

With big things expected of the 20-year-old Sundowns have the potential of grooming a South African superstar, but if Mosimane has learnt anything from Mahlambi’s previous spell in Egypt, it is that he wants game time.

Nevertheless, with Sundowns’ goal scoring woes continuing, Mosimane may opt to utilise him as a false nine, which could see him play regularly.