Breaking into the star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns starting Xi is no easy feat as these five players have found out this season after largely struggling for game-ime at the Chloorkop-based outfit.
Downs’ gruelling continental and domestic schedule has proven to be quite the balancing act for co-coaches Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi as well as senior coach Steve Komphela.
Their luxury of depth has meant that the Brazilians could often afford to field a completely different team for each competition they are in, with the same output on the field almost guaranteed.
Despite these regular rotations within the club, there are still a number of players that are struggling to break into the side.
One such player is George Maluleka.
The 32-year-old who joined the club from Kaizer Chiefs at the end of the 2019/20 season hasn’t quite had the desired impact for the Tshwane giants that was initially anticipated.
Maluleka was a regular during his time at Chiefs and was expected to command a berth at Sundowns, but stern competition from the likes of Rivaldo Coetzee, Themba Zwane and Andile in the middle of the park has meant that ‘Mido’ could only amass a three-minute cameo all season.
He has formed part of the matchday squad on five occasions but has mostly been an unused substitute for the reigning DStv Premiership champions.
Maluleka is not the only Sundowns player who has been starved of game-time this season, scroll through the gallery above to see the rest of Downs’ struggling stars.