Over the years, Mamelodi Sundowns have made some big name signings and even more so during coach Pitso Mosimane’s reign.
While it’s all smiles on the day the players are introduced to the Masandawana faithful, for some it has ended in tears. Following up on our feature on Mosimane’s 10 best signings, FARPost now picks the 10 biggest flops since Mosimane took over in December 2012.
10. Yannick Zakri
In the end, the Ivorian’s personal life made more headlines than his performances out there on the field. He scored 6 goals in 38 matches for Sundowns, before he was loaned to Ajax Cape Town and later joined Maritzburg United, but failed dismally. He had joined the Tshwane side from Asec Mimosas and he’s now playing for Al Faisaly in Jordan, Asia, after a stint in Iraq, where he featured for Naft Al-Wasat Sports Club.
9. Brimah Razak
In 2017, the ‘Brazilians’ bolstered their goalkeeping department with the acquisition of the Ghanaian goalkeeper, who had played in Spain’s lower divisions for clubs such as Cordoba and Betis. At the time, Brimah was a direct replacement for Wayne Sandilands, who departed to join Orlando Pirates. A year later, Brimah had seen enough after failing to win the number 1 jersey from Denis Onyango and left after making just 4 appearances. He kept just one clean sheet and he’s back in Spain playing for Linares Deportivo.
8. Mukuka Mulenga
Born in Zambia, Mulenga was touted as the next big thing when he joined Sundowns from Power Dynamos in 2013. Needless to say, the midfielder failed to live up to expectations and he’s now back home playing for his old club. Can you believe that he left Sundowns without playing an official match? Yep, his 26 appearances in SA were during the time he was on loan at Bloemfontein Celtic and Mpumalanga Black Aces.
7. Luyolo Nomandela
He was a star at Free State Stars and was expected to continue in the same vein at Sundowns, when he joined the club in 2014. “The fact that coach Pitso Mosimane bought me from Stars showed he had faith in me, but it was not meant to be,” Nomandela explained to the Sowetan newspaper last year. “At that time, I had so many problems that were not football-related. I was living a very bad life, that is what I can say.” There you have it… Nomandela’s undoing was his “bad” life off the field. He played just 2 games for Sundowns.
6. Tokelo Rantie
The former Bafana Bafana striker was let go after going AWOL and left without playing an official match. This was a big opportunity for Rantie to revive his career after also leaving Cape Town City without playing a match. He was signed on a three-year deal in September 2019 and by the turn of the new year, 2020, Sundowns had had enough and cut their losses. He’s now training with Bloemfontein Celtic hoping to land a contract. “No Tokelo Rantie‚ it’s discipline issues man,” said Mosimane. “At Sundowns we don’t tolerate those (kind of players).”
5. Toni Silva
He could have let his feet do the talking on the field and instead of admitting he didn’t make the grade, he wrote a scathing letter blaming Mosimane for his uneventful stay at Chloorkop. “Pitso, you are the weakest coach I’ve ever had in my life,” ranted Silva. “You are arrogant and your ego does not help as you make players unhappy. After killing the dreams and careers of players, you say ‘it did not work out’.
“I was under your management for six months and we did the same training every day,” Silva lashed out. The Guinea-Bissau striker then joined Egyptian top-flight outfit Al Ittihad in January 2019 and after six months – and just 394 minutes to his name – Silva’s contract was terminated by Al Ittihad. He currently plays for FC Taraz in the Kazakhstan Premier League.
Oh, Silva played 11 games for Sundowns, scoring 2 goals.
4. Oupa Manyisa
So much was also expected from ‘Ace’ following his move from Orlando Pirates in 2017, but with his contract running out in June, it’s highly unlikely that Sundowns would retain him. In all, Manyisa has played 47 games for Sundowns and scored 1 goal.
3. George Lebese
Lebese was all smiles when he arrived at Chloorkop… a match made in heaven, so to speak. A boy from Mamelodi joining a team from his Kasi – a dream, but it went up in smoke. It was a big move for Lebese, who had left Kaizer Chiefs after almost a decade (2008 – 2017). The winger played 16 games for Sundowns, scoring 2 goals. He’s now based in the USA, where he plays for Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship.
2. Jeremy Brockie
To be fair, he was in terrific form for SuperSport United (54 goals in 125 matches), but a dream move to Sundowns in January 2019 has turned into a nightmare, and the New Zealander finds himself on loan at Maritzburg United. He’s managed just 2 goals in 32 appearances for Sundowns and his future at Chloorkop remains in serious doubt. “Yes, his contract is coming to an end in June at Sundowns but they have an option (to renew),” Brockie’s agent Mike Makaab told Goal.com recently.
1. Ejike Uzoenyi
The Nigerian was signed on the back of some impressive displays for Nigeria during the CHAN tournament hosted by South Africa in 2014. According to a TimesLive report in January 2018, Sundowns paid Enugu Rangers R12-million for his services. “His gross salary was R12-million per year‚ working out at take-home-pay of almost R670 000 monthly — the most any player has ever earned in the country,” claimed the online publication. The winger played just 8 games for Sundowns and failed to score. He’s now in the books of Bosnian Premier League club Zvijezda 09.
RELATED STORY: Pitso Mosimane’s 10 best signings at Downs.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa