Not all senior players are on the clear-out list, but the camaraderie built over the years could be a threat to the harmony in the Mamelodi Sundowns dressing room.
As the Siya crew has reported, the new Downs technical team got off to a dream start in the DStv Premiership, but their biggest challenge could be off it.
There’s no talk of Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene, Tebogo Langerman, Ricardo Nascimento and captain Hlompho Kekana leaving.
However, their senior teammates – Wayne Arendse, Anele Ngcongca, Anthony Laffor and Tiyani Mabunda – have been deemed surplus to requirements.
Phakamani Mahlambi, 23, is another name been thrown into the mix as he, too, is expected to go out on loan before the end of the month.
Prior to his exit, coach Pitso Mosimane had insisted that he would look to bring the average age of the squad down in his succession plan for key positions, but would hold on to the club veterans with the hope that they would guide many of the new arrivals.
His successors appear to still have a similar approach in mind. However, according to sources, Arendse, Ngcongca, Laffor, Mabunda and Mahlambi were initially not on Mosimane’s list of possible departures.
But that’s changed.
There have been suggestions, then, that icing out players with a big influence in the dressing room could have a negative effect on the team.
Following their achievements together at Sundowns, it is expected that most of the senior players would have formed a bond – all the travelling and the accolades from that success means they can confide in each other.
If they are being sidelined, you can expect their teammates to have an opinion about that and voice it out, leading to a possible discord.
It will be a huge challenge for the technical team, with Manqoba Mnqgithi having the final say, to try and manage senior figures in the team when they are no longer playing regularly and have effectively been replaced!
There’s a wealth of experience among the five players combined, including Mahlambi even though he is still only 23.
He also appears to still have a future at Downs with his contract only expiring three years from now and the club eager to see him extend it, though Siya sources have suggested it is so that they can sell him outright in the near future to recuperate the money spent on him.
Mahlambi was bought from Al Ahly for R13-million two seasons ago.
It’s almost the end for Ngcongca (who will join AmaZulu on loan), Laffor, Arendse and Mabunda – their contracts are up on June 30 next year.
The loan moves would very much end their stay prematurely.
Analysis by @superjourno
This is Part 2 of the Siya crew’s analysis into a potential senior player revolt at Chloorkop! Read Part 1..
Check out more names linked with a Chloorkop exit!