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Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mashego signing a warning for Kaizer Chiefs

11:44 SAST 2022/09/22
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Terrence Mashego of Cape Town City, April 2022
The exciting left-back is seen as a Bafana Bafana star of the future after making his name with Cape Town City

That Terrence Mashego chose Mamelodi Sundowns over Kaizer Chiefs is perhaps a sign of the Soweto giants' declining status.

Earlier this month, Cape Town City boss John Comitis told GOAL that there was a possibility of Mashego joining Amakhosi.

"We were in talks with Kaizer Chiefs [regarding Mashego]," Comitis confirmed.

Amakhosi have struggled to fill their left-back role for sometime now with the likes of Philani Zulu, Yagan Sasman, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya and Sibusiso Mabiliso having failed to take their opportunities.

Reeve Frosler was then reverted from left to right-back while Sifiso Hlanti was brought in as cover, the veteran in the twilight of his career a solid option - but not for the long-term.

Clearly Mashego was the kind of player Chiefs needed, especially considering he's just 24-years-old and has been a consistently outstanding performer in the PSL for the past two years.

It was just three months back that he basically issued a come-and-get-me plea to Chiefs:

"As a footballer, you want to see yourself grow and challenge yourself on different levels. It would be an outstanding achievement for me to play for a much bigger club to test myself on a different level," Mashego told SoccerLaduma.

"As I was growing up, I fell in love with Kaizer Chiefs because of my dad as he is a big fan of the club. So, I used to go to the stadium with him, supporting Chiefs.

"I started developing a love for the club and told myself that I would love to play for this team in the future because my dad is a big Chiefs fan; even today, he still supports the club."

Silverware and self-improvement through competition

Instead, Mashego decided that Mamelodi Sundowns was the club where he could "grow and challenge [himself] on different levels."

As Sundowns chairman Tlhopie Motsepe pointed out subsequently, Masandawana are now seen as the first choice for players wanting to test themselves and improve at the highest possible level in South Africa.

“Players want to come to Mamelodi Sundowns because it is a place where they can improve themselves and achieve their dreams in football,” he told the media at the unveiling of a sports facility at Soshanguve South Secondary School.

“So it is iron sharpens iron and the fact that these good players want to come to Sundowns is because they want to achieve their dreams and want to improve as players.”

More and more it's been Sundowns who have been able to snap up the PSL's best young talent, those in the 23 to 26 year-old age range, while worryingly for Amakhosi as well as Orlando Pirates, their signings are more frequently, if not entirely, closer to 30 than 25.

It's a concerning trend if you're a Chiefs or Pirates supporter.

Granted the likes of Ashley du Preez, Kgaogelo Sekgota, George Matlou and Dillon Solomons are some younger players who Amakhosi signed.

However, they weren't quite as in-demand as players such as Sipho Mbule, Mashego, Rushine De Reuck and Teboho Mokoena were, and they have not yet had great success with Amakhosi so the verdict is still out.