Ranking all Sundowns’ signings this season…
Mamelodi Sundowns’ forays to the marketplace are never ending as the Motsepe millions remain at their disposal and have turned the club into the country’s most successful, and into one of the continent’s top forces too.
Sundowns added eight players to their roster this season and MTN FC offers some judgement on whether their shopping over the last 12 months has been worth it or not.
Grant Kekana: The strong point of the 29-year-old, signed from SuperSport United, is his versatility and he originally looked to be a purchase to provide the club with defensive cover. But injuries meant he was tossed into the deep end and he has come through with flying colours.
Divine Lunga: The flying Zimbabwean international left-back had been bought one season earlier from Golden Arrows, but was parked there for the last campaign. His time since arriving at Chloorkop has been hampered by injuries and he has seen little game-time.
Neo Maema: The crafty midfielder arrived from Bloemfontein Celtic and did not take long to make an impact, including winning a Man of the Match award, only for his progress to be hampered by injury. He is now back in action, but only off the bench.
Pule Maraisane: Signed from Cape Town All Stars, Maraisane has yet to play for Sundowns. He was once a target for Orlando Pirates and has had a taste of football in the lower leagues in Turkey and Sweden, but the 27-year-old attacker does not seem up to scratch.
Tebeho Mokoena: A mid-season signing seemed superfluous and it is not exactly like Sundowns have needed his services, although he has already made some impact with a few trademark long-range goals. But in recent weeks it has been George Maluleka playing alongside Andile Jali to offer a more attacking approach.
Surprise Ralani: More than R3-million spent on a 34-year-old would seem folly, but Sundowns have the cash so why not? Ralani has added an extra dimension to their attacking play and his collaboration with Gaston Sirino and Themba Zwane have made the Brazilians look even slicker.
Erwin Saavedra: Injuries have meant there have only been brief glimpses of the Bolivian international since his January arrival, but he looks an exciting acquisition, which he should be given his whopping R18-million price-tag.
Pavol Safranko: The Slovakian striker was signed to score goals but has been completely overshadowed by Peter Shalulile’s scoring form. Safranko is winning over fans with his work-ethic and has seven goals in all competitions, despite rarely starting a game.
By Mark Gleeson