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Downs’ New Transfer Policy Good For The PSL

So another transfer window has slammed shut, leaving some fans happy with the business done by their clubs and others not so happy. Strangely, this time around perennial ‘sign-anything-that-moves’ Sundowns were quiet and the signs are clearly there that a message has been sent to management that the club has to have a sustainable business model in place and be run in line with how every other club in the PSL does business. 
Now, certain agents and clubs will not be happy that Sundowns have taken themselves out of the picture like that, because they were the perfect club to link their players to in order to drive up prices and salary demands when negotiating new terms for their clients. However I think it’s a step in the right direction and big-ups to Sundowns. 
Kaizer Chiefs spent most of the recent transfer window trying to prevent players from leaving rather than delving into the transfer market, and possibly their biggest coup was holding on to Itumeleng Khune. The messy deal between Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic involving Camaldine Abraw seems to have almost been sorted out, with the player having been registered to play for Kaizer Chiefs, while the signing of Edward Manqele to beef up Chiefs’ strike force is an interesting one considering the player has been far from prolific of late. Siyanda Xulu looks like a very good bit of business by the Amakhosi, whereas the jury is still out on Bongani Ndulula. 
Orlando Pirates’ fans will wait eagerly to see if their latest acquisition, Ugandan attacking midfielder Yasser Mugerwa, is the real deal. Amigo Memela seems to have settled in well for the Buccaneers, while fans will hope that Tendai Ndoro, Roger Majafa and Gift Motupa will prove to be good fits for the team this season.
The one deal we were all waiting to see happen locally was no doubt that of Bidvest Wits’ Sibusiso Vilakazi to one of the big boys. That deal did not happen and it’s great that the player can now focus on his football without all the drama in the background. Hopefully we will see him back to his best for Bidvest Wits and, who knows, maybe the overseas move that he is looking for will transpire further down the line. Personally I’d prefer to see him go abroad than stay locally, as he has nothing left to prove in the PSL. 
What has been interesting is to see some of our big-name overseas-based players returning to the PSL from Europe. It speaks to either that the PSL is able to compete favourably when it comes to paying players something similar to what they could earn at smaller clubs in Europe (which is the sign of a healthy domestic league and should make all players playing in the PSL realise that they can make a very good living here), or to that perhaps our players are just not good enough to cut it abroad. That would mean that the unhealthy state of affairs with regards to our local standards should be a concern, especially when the likes of Steven Pienaar and Benni McCarthy are of the opinion that, for Bafana to compete on the international stage, more of our players need to be playing in the top leagues in Europe. 
It is concerning that May Mahlangu is clubless and appears to be considering a move to the PSL, with Kaizer Chiefs seemingly his favoured destination, and reports are that Sundowns are also sniffing. It’s concerning because, with his ability, you would expect him to land a good contract in a strong league abroad. It is also concerning that Thulani Serero has been deemed surplus to requirements at Ajax Amsterdam. How he has fallen from grace so quickly is a little baffling and the suitors that he has been linked with are strange when you consider last season he was playing and scoring against teams like Barcelona in the Champions League. I think there is more to this situation than meets the eye, and the Siya crew is working on it for you. 
My advice to players considering moves in the next transfer window is to read Mame Niang’s interview with Vuyani Joni in this edition. The lesson is: move to a club for the right reasons, to a club where you fit in, to a club where you have a future. Too many of our young, talented players are going to clubs that hurt them more than help them, in my opinion.  Too many careers have been stalled. 
Finally, a massive thank you to our readers! Soccer Laduma won the Sunday Times Best Weekly Newspaper category last week and it’s all because of you. Next stop – biggest newspaper in the country. We know you will help us get there!

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