JOHANNESBURG – Having acquired striker Mauricio Affonso as his first signing for next season, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says the Uruguayan will play an invaluable role in their African Safari.
“We need him more for Africa, more than the local league,” said Mosimane from the team’s camp in Nelspruit yesterday. “He can play with the way we play, if we have set pieces and corner kicks then he can help us. With (Gaston) Sirino, you know the height. With also Themba Zwane and Lebohang Maboe, you don’t get much in terms of that (height) tactic.
Now, you’ve got someone that can give you something else. We had a No 9 here, Leo Castro, and he adapted well. I think you remember the ‘CBD’ and I went to revisit the strategy to see if he can help us.”
In 177 matches for Peruvian side Alianza Lima the forward scored 34 goals in all competitions. Despite that not being an ideal return from a striker who has to inspire Sundowns to a record 10th Premiership title and a return to African dominance, Mosimane is optimistic Affonso will hit the ground running.
“It’s not easy to get a player from South America. You’ve got to check, scout and judge,” he said. “You’ve got to make a decision and never know whether the decision was the right one. But we don’t have a player of his style and his abilities. And we believe that he’s important for us for Champions League.
The whole thing is to see if the way he plays will fit in with the way we play (because) Sundowns is a complex team.”
Affonso is set to take over from Jeremy Brockie who scored one goal in 15 matches for the Brazilians last season.
The New Zealander is rumoured to be on Kaizer Chiefs’ radar.@Mihlalibaleka