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Mokwena Reveals Desire To Sign Mabasa, But Sundowns Went Another Way

  • July 4, 2024
  • 2 min read
Mokwena Reveals Desire To Sign Mabasa, But Sundowns Went Another Way

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has shed light on his transfer window frustrations, specifically regarding striker Tshegofatso Mabasa.

Mokwena claims he informed the Sundowns management in January about the team’s need for a strong center forward. However, the club opted for different targets, signing Thembinkosi Lorch from Orlando Pirates and Tashreeq Matthews from Sweden. Neither player significantly impacted the team’s scoring in the way Mabasa did for Pirates in the second half of the season.

Loaned to Moroka Swallows in the first half, Mabasa impressed with six league goals in 15 appearances. When Pirates struggled with Zakhele Lepasa’s lack of goals and Evidence Makgopa’s injury woes, they recalled him. By then, however, Sundowns seemingly lost interest.

Mabasa went on to have a transformative impact for Pirates, scoring 10 league goals and finishing the season with 16 goals overall, securing the PSL Golden Boot award.

Speaking to Robert Marawa on Wednesday’s edition of MSW after his departure from Sundowns, Mokwena revealed his strong interest in Mabasa as a solution to the team’s goalscoring issues. He acknowledged the club’s support but expressed his frustration with their transfer decisions.

“It’s tough to answer,” Mokwena said when questioned about his freedom in making transfers. “The club supported me, but like I mentioned in press conferences, we had a striker crisis. We needed a finisher, and everyone knows who I wanted – the player who ended up top scorer. That’s football, though.”

The connection between Mokwena and Mabasa predates this transfer window. Mokwena served as Pirates’ caretaker coach from August to December 2019, a period that overlapped with Mabasa’s arrival from Bloemfontein Celtic.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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