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African All Stars

Mosimane rules out expensive South African and PSL transfers at Al Ahli

13:24 EAT 30/09/2022
Pitso Mosimane 2022.
Al Ahli head coach Pitso Mosimane has explained why it would be difficult to sign South African players for his new team.

  • Mosimane accepted Al Ahli appointment after leaving Al Ahly
  • Cites huge transfer fees as prohibitive factor
  • Discusses how difficult it would be for PSL players to adapt
  • WHAT HAPPENED? After being out of a coaching job for some time, the South African accepted the Al Ahli appointment and will be in charge of the club for two years.

    With the success he has achieved both at Mamelodi Sundowns – the Premier Soccer League giants – and Al Ahly – Africa’s heavyweights – the tactician will take over the Saudi Arabia team in what is his first career assignment outside Africa.

    WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "If there's an opportunity in the next break [meaning the transfer window], maybe in the future we can always look around and see what we can bring," Mosimane said, as quoted by Sowetan Live.

    "It is always good to bring South African players into those market spaces, but it's very difficult to bring them to that space in the Middle East. It's not an easy thing because they need to adapt, and social life is different.

    "If you need a player, [go to] Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, or other spaces. I am telling you, it's easy to do it that way. With the finances also, it's easier to get a player from those countries than it is in South Africa. The South African market is very difficult... the teams expect you to pay a lot of money. That's the challenge.

    "The transfers are big here... you'll speak R13 million and players don't move. I tried to sign PSL players when I was at Al Ahly, but I couldn't because it's $5 million, I mean really? It's not easy."

    THE BIGGER PICTURE: When Mosimane was appointed Al Ahly coach, he signed Bafana Bafana forward Percy Tau from Brighton and Hove Albion. Together, they registered success at the club, including winning the Caf Champions League before the coach left his post in June.

    Tau – the only South African in the Al Ahly set-up - is still with the Egyptian side but has had to deal with uncertainty around his future, criticism, especially from club legends, and a battle against injuries.

    As Mosimane moved to the Middle East – with the sole mission of helping Al Ahli earn promotion to the Saudi Pro League – it is unlikely he will look back home in a bid to sign players to help him achieve the task, going by his comments.

    WHAT IS MORE FOR MOSIMANE: Al Ahli are seventh in Division One and, five games into the season, they have four fewer points than Al Akhdoud, the current league leaders.