THE BREAKDOWN: Why Benni Couldn’t Afford To Lose Ngoma To Sundowns
Aubrey Ngoma Remains A Cape Town City Player
Cape Town City’s Aubrey Ngoma was linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns in the recently closed transfer window, but Benni McCarthy’s club managed to keep hold of him, which could prove crucial for the club’s success this season.
Click through the images above to see Aubrey Ngoma’s detailed statistics for the 2016/17 season.
The former Orlando Pirates winger was named as the 2016/17 Midfielder of the Season as the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament to cap off a phenomenal campaign that saw him top the Absa Premiership’s assist charts with 12 from 28 appearances, with the 27-year-old also scoring five goals.
His performances thus warranted a proposed big money move to the CAF Champions League champions, but a knee injury suffered on international duty and City’s reluctance to part ways with him, after already losing Lebogang Manyama to Turkish side, Konyaspor, and he is now set to spend at least the remainder of 2017 in the blue and yellow jersey. The question now is, was he worth turning down what was revealed to be an R8 million bid?
Ngoma was key to City’s attacking impetus last season, directly contributing towards 17 of the club’s 47 league goals last season and thus their victorious Telkom Knockout campaign, as well as a third-place finish in the league. Furthermore, his relationship on the pitch with Lebogang Manyama was instrumental to the now-departed midfielder’s spectacular season that saw him win the league’s Golden Boot and Player of the Year title.
Statistically, Ngoma was devastating in the final third, with 13.3 passes in the final third per 90 minutes, at an accuracy of 81.4%. He also made 5.1 open play crosses per 90 and 2.18 shot assists per 90. He may not have been as effective as Manyama in front of goal, but he was instrumental in Manyama’s ability to receive the ball in dangerous areas. And it’s not just Manyama that benefited from that, but City’s team as a whole, with Lehlohonolo Majoro enjoying a fine campaign, scoring seven goals as well. Thus, it’s sufficed to say that Ngoma can continue to contribute towards the team’s goalscoring efforts and, while Manyama has departed, City now have Ayanda Patosi, along with several other new recruits to fill the void left behind by the Konyaspor star.
Furthermore, City will now consider themselves as genuine title contenders after finishing last season just five points off the league winners Bidvest Wits and currently occupying second place after consecutive victories in the first two matchdays. Therefore, they would be selling Ngoma to a direct rival. Sundowns have yet to find an adequate replacement for Keagan Dolly, who joined Montpellier in January, and Ngoma fits the mould of an ideal replacement for the Bafana Bafana star. In Dolly’s five games prior to departing Sundowns last season, his 23.4 final passes at an accuracy of 79.1%, his 2.3 open play crosses and 2.29 shot assists per 90 minutes indicate that the void he leaves behind is one that Ngoma is capable of filling.
With that said, however, City will continue to be without Ngoma for a big chunk of the first half of the season as a result of the injury he suffered during the offseason and assuming that he will be able to return to his best form after his return is a gamble. Nonetheless, he could also be key to their efforts after he returns.
Therefore, Ngoma would not only be City’s loss, but he would greatly benefit Sundowns’ attack that needs a creative left winger. Such a move could potentially hand Sundowns the quality needed to secure this season’s league title and affect City’s chances of taking it for themselves. The prize money on offer for the league winners in the Absa Premiership currently stands at R10 million – so the R8 million in exchange for Ngoma’s services was never going to be enough.
Do you think Cape Town City were right to keep Aubrey Ngoma?