Andile Jali Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns' Jali: Reported Kaizer Chiefs & Orlando Pirates target facing 'Ronaldo dilemma'

Despite a fantastic career, Mamelodi Sundowns' Andile Jali, reported in some circles to be wanted by Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, may struggle to find himself an ideal club, should he leave Masandawana.

Jali seems to have been around forever although the former KV Oostende and Pirates hardman only turns 33 next April.

He could therefore still have four or so seasons to play before retirement. But for a player who has done so much mileage, whose game has been based in no small part on mobility and energy, he may not be able to perform with the same sort of intensity for too much longer.

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In the middle of the park it's certainly advantageous to be mobile and to cover as much ground as possible, and as a player gets older, playing with such intensity is either not feasible, or it means he can become more injury prone.

Andile Jali, Bafana BafanaGallo

Already Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has decided that Jali's better days are behind him.

To be fair to the player he has been in outstanding form for Masandawana over the past couple of seasons and indeed throughout his five-year stay.

However, after half a decade, and with a bunch of other younger options in the middle of the park, Sundowns may just decide it's time to part ways and so may the player. He has played just eight of Sundowns' 12 league games this term, making six starts.

But where to after that? Somewhat like Manchester United discard Cristiano Ronaldo, Jali might find it difficult to find the kind of club he wants to play for.

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are well-stocked in central midfield, with both sides possessing a number of current Bafana internationals in that position.

An overseas move at this stage of his career seems a long shot, and so it's difficult to imagine where Jali might end up should he leave Sundowns.

It should be noted also how over the last year, there has been an increasing number of big-name veteran PSL players left clubless

A club like AmaZulu might offer Jali a lifeline, or perhaps he'll pen a short-term deal with Downs.

It's highly unlikely though he'll end up at Chiefs or Pirates - two clubs who are trying to rebuild and should be looking to make more youthful signings.

From Jali’s point of view, the final five months of the season could be crucial in determining which path his career takes next.