Goal looks at what Masandawana need ahead of the upcoming January transfer window
With the January transfer window fast approaching, clubs are expected to waste no time in locking down the signatures of some of the country’s hottest properties.
But for one club in particular, the January transfer window could signal more than just a few new additions, but a rebuilding phase of sorts. Mamelodi Sundowns have a potential player exodus on the horizon at the end of the season should several of their players choose not to renew their contracts, and although Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has come out in the media stating that most of key players will sign new deals, there still remains a lot of uncertainty.
As rules state that when a player enters his final six months of his contract, a player is allowed to conduct talks with any interested party of his choosing, and with players like Tiyani Mabunda, Khama Billiat and Themba Zwane all headed towards those dreaded last six months, Masandawana are taking a massive risk. This could see Sundowns splurge into the transfer market in the new year as they look to prepare for the upcoming Caf Champions League, meaning that the 2018 January transfer window could be a lot more important than was first expected.
Nonetheless, as with all transfer windows that have gone by, coaches and management look to sign players in positions that will bolster the squad, and Goal gives the reader some insights as to what Mamelodi Sundowns will need to do during the transfer window if they are to mount a title challenge on the continent and in the PSL.
For some time now, Sundowns coach Mosimane has been crying out for a finisher. Billiat was previously seen as the go-to man when it came to goals, but with the Zimbabwe international presumably headed for the exit door, Mosimane will certainly make bringing in a new attacker a priority.
But it should be noted that while Percy Tau has done a stellar job in Billiat’s absence, his game can still improve a lot in the goal scoring department which does beg the question, will Sundowns revive their interest in Jeremy Brockie?
The New Zealander has an admirer in the Sundowns coach and with the ‘CBD’ likely to be officially dismantled this does pave the way for a new brass of talent to take over the reins at Chloorkop. But with SuperSport refusing to play ball, Mosimane may need to look elsewhere. Also, the impending departure of Leonardo Castro will mean that Sundowns will be a bit light on the attacking front and if reports are to be believed another South American could be brought in as his replacement.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the pitch, the 53-year-old may consider bringing in another winger. Sundowns have never really been able to replace Keagan Dolly who joined French Ligue 1 club Montpellier at the start of the year and with Mzikayise Mashaba having left the club and George Lebese yet to hit the heights which he set at Kaizer Chiefs, there is certainly room for another winger at the club.
Another important position which Mosimane may also look to bolster is his defence. With Rivaldo Coetzee out injured and Ricardo Nascimento not registered for the 2017/2018 campaign, Sundowns have been left with only a handful of capable defenders. While Motjeka Madisha has been a shining light coming through the ranks at the Tshwane giants, with ageing legs such as Wayne Arendse and Thabo Nthethe the only notable back-up, Mosimane may be tempted to bring in extra reinforcements.
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However, if reports are indeed true that Nascimento will return to the fray along with Coetzee in the new year, then Mosimane may not need to spend on acquiring another defender, and could perhaps splurge on another attacker.
Nevertheless, while Sundowns currently find themselves heading towards the Christmas break in a strong position, what is apparent is that there will be a shake-up at some time or the other whether in January or at the end of season, signalling a new era for the former African Champions.