Where does Maluleka fit in at Downs?

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George Maluleka’s impending move to Mamelodi Sundowns has set the tongues wagging.

FARPost broke the news recently that the 31-year-old will be leaving Kaizer Chiefs to join the ‘Brazilians’ from July 1, 2020.

Maluleka has signed a deal that will take him to June 2023, which represents a three-year contract, but before the ink on the contract dries up, football fans are asking: would he play at Sundowns?

FARPost looks at the central midfielders he would compete with for a spot in Pitso Mosimane’s side…

Hlompho Kekana

The captain has just penned a 4-year extension and is expected to continue playing a pivotal role for the Tshwane side. Kekana has played over 300 games for Sundowns since joining the side from Bloemfontein Celtic in 2011 and while he turns 35 on May 23 this year Kekana isn’t showing many signs of slowing down.

Stats this season: 33 games, 4 goals, 6 assists.

Andile Jali

Jali is back to his best and an indication was his call up to Bafana Bafana’s recent that was picked to play Sao Tome e Principe in back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but the matches have been postponed due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Jali is a commanding figure in central midfield and is likely to continue to feature prominently in Mosimane’s side.

Stats this season: 30 appearances, 1 goal.

Tiyani Mabunda

‘Shuga’ is one of the hardest workers and even when failing to break into the starting XI, he remains a key figure in the dressing room in encouraging other players. Maluleka will have to contend with such figures to stake his claim for a starting berth.

Stats this season: 20 games, 2 goals.

Rivaldo Coetzee

Equally at home in midfield as he is in defence, Coetzee has shown some real qualities in the centre of the park. Coetzee’s progress has been halted by injuries, but he’s proven that he can fight his way back from a huge setback to be in contention again, after recovering from a foot injury that robbed him of a move to Scottish giants, Glasgow Celtic, before his switch to Sundowns in August 2017.

Stats this season: 10 appearances, 2 assists.

Sammy Seabi

The former Polokwane City midfielder has struggled for game time, but remains one for the future and whoever joins Sundowns will have to battle it out with him, amongst others.

Stats this season: 5 games.

Grant Magerman

The SA junior international is currently on loan at Ajax Cape Town, after Sundowns signed him last year. He’s got age on his side at just 21 and is expected to return, and stay, at Chloorkop for the 2020/2021 campaign.

Stats this season: N/A

Lucky Mohomi

He’s been thought to be on his way out for quite sometime, but remains at the club, which means he continues to fight for his place and that presents a challenge for other midfielders coming through to the club.

Stats this season: 0

WHO’S LEAVING?

Oupa Manyisa

Ace’s contract expires on June 30, 2020. Having recovered from a long-term achilles injury, the former Orlando Pirates star appears to be living on borrowed time at Sundowns. He may not be around when Maluleka arrives.

Stats this season: 2 appearances.

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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