At the top of Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane’s shopping list is a striker to bolster the squad’s attacking force to push them to a record eighth PSL title.
The Brazilians head into the Christmas break at the summit of the league standings, four points clear of second-placed Cape Town City. Sundowns don’t only have a game in hand, but they've also scored more goals than any other team in the league.
But Mosimane isn’t resting on his laurels, as he is looking to sign a striker in the January transfer window.
Sundowns were prepared to break the bank for SuperSport United’s Jeremy Brockie, who handed a transfer request upon hearing that the Brazilians were interested in him in the last transfer window. But Matsatsantsa refused, putting a large not for sale sign on the New Zealand forward whom they said must help them win the MTN8 and the Caf Confederation Cup before they consider selling him. Matsatsantsa won the MTN8, but lost in the final to TP Mazembe in the Confederation Cup.
“We are losing players upfront,” Mosimane said. “We have already lost Leonardo Castro (to Kaizer Chiefs). The Khama (Billiat) situation, nobody knows (whether he is staying or going). We need to top up in the attacking department. (Cuthbert) Malajila is going to take long before he can come back. He is still not there. Anthony (Laffor) has this heel that gives him problems. He comes and goes. Even Khama, he isn’t on the pitch all the time. We have him, but we don’t have him. We need to add a little bit upfront. We are not sure about Rivaldo Coetzee’s situation. It’s a tough one. He hasn’t trained since we got him. You start saying maybe that’s also hurting us because I had to play (Siyanda) Zwane at centre-back. This situation says you must also be careful at centre-back in terms of personnel.”
Mosimane and Sundowns go into the break with mixed feelings, happy that they are top of the log, but disappointed that they ended the year with a 1-0 loss to City at Loftus on Tuesday. Their hard-to-please fans gave the club and the players a break. They sang loudly and passionately after the loss.
“Because we are on top of the log, maybe you can say that I will go on this break a happy man,” Mosimane said. “But you don’t want to lose. I hate losing, you know me. I am not in the right mood when I lose. Okay, nobody likes to lose, but I take it hard. It’s okay. That’s part of football. Winning means a lot to me. You have to accept when you lose and give credit to the opponents.”
Sundowns will return to training next Wednesday to start preparations for the second half of the league and their Caf Champions League campaign that will start a bit late as they got a bye in the first round.
“We needed the break,” Mosimane said. “We can work on getting back the injured players. We are going to strengthen the team because we have two programmes, the league and the Champions League. We have to bring in players to play in those programmes. It’s not easy because the players we bring in have to adjust to the way we play.”