In SiSwati there is a phrase that says lokungapheli kuyahlola, loosely translated to “everything has to come to an end”. As the curtain closes on the 2020/21 Premier Soccer League season, some Mamelodi Sundowns players might find themselves out in the cold ahead of the start of the new campaign.
We take a look at those players who could be on their way out of the DStv Premiership champions-elect.
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The big Ivorian defender has endured a long list of lengthy injuries, and every single time he has managed to recover and put his hand up for selection. But with the likes of Ricardo Nascimento, Mosa Lebusa and Rushine De Reuck playing football in their prime, it leaves very little room for Soumahoro, who has been a sporadic squad member. He has only featured three times for Downs in the last two years.
Mabunda has not played a single game this season and his exclusion does not come as a surprise as the emergence of Lebohang Maboe, Sphelele Mkhulise, Rivaldo Coetzee and Andile Jali has forced Sundowns
coaches to freeze out the veteran midfield enforcer, who is in his sixth season at Downs. Phakaaathi understands that Mabunda refused to go out on loan and decided to stay and fight for his place.
At his tender age of 22, at least by South African standards, Mergeman has not had the best of starts to his Sundowns career. This is not because he is a bad player, but he is suffering the same fate as Mabunda as the regulars have made it hard for him to break into the team. The former Ajax Cape Town – now known as Cape Town All Stars – star, could head out on loan to get some game time as he has rusted on the stands at Sundowns.
Mahlambi’s troubles off the field are well-documented, he is struggling to make the team at AmaZulu where he was shipped off on loan at the start of the season. He is held in high regard because of his talent, but as Benni McCarthy once suggested, talent without hard work is usually a recipe for disaster. The former Al-Ahly attacker still has a couple of years left on his contract and having played just two games at Usuthu all season, he is unlikely to make the cut when he returns to Downs and could be released or sent out on loan again.
His glittery career at Masandawana is not one can forget, he will collect his sixth league gold medal with the Chloorkop-based side at the end of the season and already has one with rivals SuperSport United, positioning him as one of the most decorated defenders in the Premier Soccer League. This season could be his last as part of Sundowns as the likes of younger Aubrey Modiba and Lyle Lakay provide the speed that is required in the demanding left-wing back position, effectively shutting out the 35-year-old, who has been reduced to a spectator for most of the season.