As reported in last week’s edition of Soccer Laduma, Mamelodi Sundowns are showing interest in signing SuperSport United’s Aubrey Modiba to bolster their squad for next season. Where would the 23-year-old fit in at Masandawana?
He ticks four boxes for Pitso Mosimane:
- Full backs provide width
- Attacking midfielders play narrow
- Excellent current form
At SuperSport United this season, Modiba has started 24 games and appeared as a substitute in one another game, ironically against Sundowns. In his 24 starts, the former Nedbank Ke Yona team product has played in numerous positions:
Left central midfield (4-3-3): seven starts
Left back: four starts
Left winger (4-3-3): eight starts
Right winger (4-3-3): three starts
Left midfielder (4-4-2): one start
Right midfielder (4-4-2): one start
Modiba has shown himself to be very capable in a multitude of roles, but perhaps his most impressive games have been in a more central role, which highlights his athleticism and his ability to both defend and attack. Pitso Mosimane has said in the past that he does not like players who can play only one position. Modiba’s arrival would allow Mosimane flexibility within games and when planning for specific opponents.
Full backs provide width
At Downs, the width comes from the full backs. After the arrival at Sundowns of Lyle Lakay, the former Cape Town City man has seen the coach convert him from a pure winger into an attacking left back. Modiba has played a fair amount of football at left back, but his primary role has been further forward. At Sundowns, perhaps he will compete with Lakay for the full back role next season. Tebogo Langerman turns 33 before the end of the season and has been left on the bench for each of the last three games since his own goal against AmaZulu. Mosa Lebusa is a natural left back too, but he has been selected as a centre back in 17 of his 19 starts since arriving and Pitso Mosimane has spoken about seeing him in a central role going forward.
Attacking midfielders play narrow
At Sundowns, the attacking midfielders who play in support of the frontman in Pitso’s preferred 4-2-3-1 shape are all used in narrow positions so they are in close proximity to link up. Modiba has shown this season that he can play a more central role to good effect, as well as playing as an inverted winger on the right flank who cuts inside and frees space for the right back to overlap. So although he could compete to start at left back, Mosimane could also use him further forward to make the most of his shooting and dribbling. Players like George Lebese and Aubrey Ngoma struggled for minutes at Sundowns in part because they are pure wingers who are not at their best when playing narrow in tight spaces. Modiba has shown he can do this already.
Excellent current form
Pitso Mosimane generally signs players to are showing top form in the PSL. This means that their confidence is high, they are heading for their peak years, and can, therefore, adapt quickly. If he signs younger players still finding their feet, then they often spend some time out on loan. Keagan Dolly, Themba Zwane and Katlego Otladisa are examples of this.
Modiba’s form this season under Kaitano Tembo has been outstanding. He has four goals and six assists this term and his 57 shots are the third most in the whole league. His 2.74 shot assists per 90 minutes make him the 5th highest chance creator.
Where do you think Modiba would fit in at Sundowns? Would he play regularly or struggle to get game-time? Let us know by commenting below!