Gaston Sirino is pushing for a return to the Mamelodi Sundowns squad with a warning from co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi that his attacking players are playing for their places in the star-studded team.
The Uruguayan has not featured for the ‘Brazilians’ this season in the DStv Premiership after reportedly submitting his transfer request to reunite with his former coach Pitso Mosimane at the Egyptian giants, Al Ahly.
The dust might have settled in the Sirino transfer saga but with the depth in Sundowns’ squad‚ including a healthy batch of off-season signings, Mngqithi says the influential star will have to fight for his place in the team as the 2019/20 treble-winners have learned and managed to win matches without him.
“Mentally he was all over but now he is back in training and he is showing signs that he needs to fight for his place in the team,” said Mngqithi following Sundowns’ narrow 1-0 win over title rivals Orlando Pirates at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sundowns recently confirmed that they terminated negotiations with Al Ahly as both clubs could not agree on a transfer fee for the skilful attacking wizard.
Sirino signed a five-year contract extension in June last year and now has no choice but to put his failed move to Cairo behind him and buckle down in Tshwane.
“Sirino can see the team is moving forward without him and it is very easy at Sundowns to be forgotten, so he is giving his best now at training, he is working very hard and we are hoping to see him soon.
“It is just that it is unfortunate for some medical reasons he could not play this one (versus Pirates). We are hoping that maybe in the next few matches he would have fought his fitness back and be able to fight for his place in the team.
“It is not going to be a walk in the park because the boys that are inside are really giving their best but we know what he is capable of doing and when he comes in he adds to our depth which is very important when you are a team like Sundowns,” concluded the Sundowns mentor.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns