The Downs tactician has arguably been the busiest PSL coach on the transfer market and says he is preparing for life without his ageing players
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says his way of conducting transfer affairs by blending experienced players with young blood is similar to that of Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
Sundowns have arguably been the most active Premier Soccer League (PSL) club in terms of acquiring players so far this transfer period.
Mosimane has brought in goalkeeper Ricardo Goss and midfielder Haashim Domingo from Bidvest Wits, while former Black Leopards forward Lesedi Kapinga has been signed together with Grant Margeman from Ajax Cape Town.
In addition, the Highlands Park duo of Mothobi Mvala and the league’s joint top goal-scorer Peter Shalulile are reportedly on their way to Chloorkop as well.
With the likes of captain Hlompho Kekana as well as goalkeepers Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene, striker Anthony Laffor and defender Wayne Arendse all 35 years of age, Mosimane says he is preparing for their exit.
Other Sundowns players in their 30s include new signing George Maluleka, who came in from rivals Kaizer Chiefs, Andile Jali, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento.
“I have several players who’ve passed 30: Anele [Ngcongca], Kennedy Mweene, [Tebogo] Langerman, [Tiyani] Mabunda, Wayne,” said Mosimane as per Sowetan Live.
“Eventually you have to rebuild the team, that’s why I have signed younger players for next season. The likes of Lesedi Kapinga, Ricardo Goss, Haashim Domingo and Grant Margeman. But you can’t throw them all in at once.
“You need Kekana there to guide them. The senior players are key in blending in the new players. Zinedine Zidane did it well at Real Madrid, something that Barcelona failed to do.”
Some of the players regarded as representing Downs’ future are the likes of midfielders Promise Mkhuma, Phakamani Mahlambi, Keletso Makgalwa, Nicholus Lukhubeni and Sphelele Mkhulise as well as defender Rivaldo Coetzee, who are all below the age of 25 and have been enjoying some playing minutes.
Despite skipper Kekana being 35, Sundowns rewarded him with a four-year contract earlier this year and Mosimane also insisted on playing his captain towards the end of the PSL campaign.
“I stuck with him because he’s my captain; he’s an important player. I think he played more minutes than anyone in the bubble,” Mosimane added.
With the arrival of Goss, it would be interesting to see which goalkeeper would be sacrificed between Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene and Reyaad Pieterse.