Mamelodi Sundowns’ trio of coaches are off to a great start in the DStv Premiership, but their biggest challenge at the moment is not on the pitch!
It’s the dressing room, where Siya sources have indicated the delay in trimming their big squad to a manageable size could cause divisions within the camp.
Sundowns have so far confirmed 14 new signings and the technical team recently put together a list of possible exits, which included some big names – Anele Ngcongca, Wayne Arendse, Tiyani Mabunda, Anthony Laffor and the youngest of all of them, Phakamani Mahlambi.
Six have successfully been shipped out: Ali Meza joined Maritzburg United permanently, with Malebo Modise following him to the Team of Choice, though his move is only until the end of the season. Oupa Manyisa and Lucky Mohomi did not have their contracts renewed.
Sammy Seabi, Aubrey Ngoma and Nicholus Lukhubeni are at Swallows FC, Cape Town City and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, respectively, until June 30 next year.
Those were the easy deals given their lack of game-time and desire to play regularly to either earn their places back or be sold outright.
But indications are that agreements with Arendse, Mabunda and Laffor could prove complex and may not go over the line before the end of this month, when the Premier Soccer League transfer window slams shut.
Ngcongca has all but concluded his move to AmaZulu, though his future had become a contentious issue Mnqgithi refused to comment in public.
A veteran of nearly a decade at Chloorkop and part of the recent success over the years, Arendse is also surplus to requirements and he, too, was linked with Swallows.
But his wish to remain at Downs to share his extensive knowledge with the younger players could be granted, though game time will be limited.
Siya sources have indicated that Mabunda is not open to going out on loan and that appears to be the case with Laffor as well.
Downs could have a breakthrough in loaning out Mahlambi to AmaZulu, too, but insiders have suggested their request to have him agree to a contract extension before he leaves is still the main stumbling block.
With just two weeks to go before the window closes, word is Downs are quite far off in talking the remaining players on their clear-out list into leaving, setting up Mnqgithi, Mokwena and Komphela for a difficult dressing room to manage.
Story by @superjourno
This is Part 1 of the Siya crew’s analysis into a potential senior player revolt at Chloorkop!
Downs are trying to make room for the new players, the majority who were signed while Pitso Mosimane was still head coach...