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Mamelodi Sundowns

10 Midfielders: How Mokoena Could Fit In At Sundowns

With the Siya crew reporting that Teboho Mokoena is set to complete a move to Mamelodi Sundowns, we take a look at how Tebza could fit in at the Brazilians.

The 25-year-old is expected to be unveiled as a Masandawana player in the coming days, which would make it the club’s third big signing of the January transfer window, following the capture of Erwin Saavedra, who is yet to be announced and Surprise Ralani.

A number of questions have been asked about where Mokoena would fit into a Sundowns midfield that already consists of Andile Jali, Mothobi Mvala, Rivaldo Coetzee, Lebogang Maboe, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Haashim Domingo, Siphelele Mkhulise, Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino.

At SuperSport, Mokoena has been deployed mainly as a six or an eight, a position which he would frequently swap with Sipho Mbule and Jesse Donn. With coach Kaitano Tembo preferring Donn, sitting deeper behind Mokoena and Mbule, it has given the duo a lot more freedom to get into attacking areas.

And that is highly likely a position that we could see Tebza play at Sundowns. With ‘Riva’ the preferred option as a deep-lying playmaker and Jali slotting in alongside him, the likes of Domingo, Mkhulise, Vila, or even Sirino could be sacrificed for Mokoena who would have the freedom to play in a more advanced role where he can unleash his long-range strikes or slot through passes for the likes of Peter Shalulile.

“He’s got so much ability. You can’t just limit him to defensive duties because he’s very creative going forward as well. We’ve been encouraging him to do that, and he’s done well. He’s scored three goals from midfield, and I think we try to encourage him to that more often,” his SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo told the media about Mokoena in 2020.

Sundowns are no strangers to changing players’ positions either.

The likes of Thapelo Morena, Lyle Lakay, Aubrey and Lebogang Maboe are all examples of players who have enjoyed different roles since making the switch to Chloorkop and perhaps Tebza could be set for a switch too.

An inverted eight position, similar to that of Maboe is possible or if need be, a possible number 10 role could also be assigned to the Bafana Bafana man. It remains to be seen how Mokoena will fit into the Sundowns system, but in co-coaches Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi, they have two individuals who would have done thorough homework before roping in the talented star.

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