Andile Jali marked his return to Mamelodi Sundowns’ starting line-up with a goal from the penalty spot in a 4-0 win Nedbank Cup last-16 tie against Polokwane City on Wednesday afternoon in Pretoria.
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Jali has been omitted from the line-up in the last four games as speculation around his future continues to be the talk of the town, seeing that his contract expires at the end of the season.
Masandawana co-head coach, Manqoba Mngqithi, has spoken for the first time about Jali’s future, making it clear that Downs are not ready to lose a player of his calibre.
“He is a very important player in the team, it would be sad to lose him because we know what he is capable of and he adds a lot of value to the team…. we would not want to lose him,” said Mngqithi.
“He has the right level of arrogance that you need in a player and he dominates the midfield and bosses, everybody, around in that space. That is one of his major attributes, he is not scared of anybody and he is always ready for a fight,” the Downs mentor added.
Mngqithi continued: “He has been unlucky because at Sundowns if you have played well but unfortunately, you are then out for medical reasons or injury, you always find yourself out for longer because Lebogang Maboe has been doing well, Sphelele Mkhulise has been doing well but we gave Andile and opportunity this time around and we knew what we can get and he has a lot to give.
Bafana Ba Style have set up a meeting with Jali’s former club, Orlando Pirates, who they will host next month in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup.