Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
8 Jun 2022
11:28 am

A mammoth task to catch up with Sundowns, says Mokwena

Ntokozo Gumede

"We don't spend too much time worrying about what everybody else is doing", says the Sundowns mentor.

Mamelodi Sundowns have set themselves miles apart from their DStv Premiership competitors in the transfer market. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

If transfer fees in the Premier Soccer League were public knowledge, you’re most likely to find Mamelodi Sundowns transfers topping the list of player movements in the past two transfer windows, which goes as far as explaining their unparalleled dominance in the local scene.

Sundowns’s latest acquisition is former SuperSport United star Sipho Mbule, who joins the likes of Teboho Mokoena, Grant Kekana, Aubrey Modiba, Kermit Erasmus, Gift Motupa, Neo Maema, Rushine De Reuck, and Thabiso Kutumela, who are some of the players who joined the Brazilians in recent windows.

Their coach, Rhulani Mokwena says while his team can make all the movements in the market, they are mainly fulfilling their responsibility of strengthening their side and not necessarily weakening the opposition.

READ ALSO: Zungu’s Soweto derby comment upsets Kaizer Chiefs fans

“It becomes Borussia Dortmund’s responsibility not to sell their best players Bayern Munich and even from an economical point [it makes sense to sell] and their business model is to develop players to sell,” said Mokwena.  

“You look at Erling Haaland for an example – three seasons ago Manchester United wanted the same player but United were very uncomfortable with entering a release clause but Dortmund were comfortable with that because they had bought him for far less. What they now got as a return in investment is supported by the goals that he scored for Dortmund,” he added.

Gone are the days where most of the quality, where players are concerned, would be found at Soweto rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Mokwena likens the shift of dominance to that of the rivalry in the Italian Serie A where AC Milian scooped their maiden league crown in 11 years.

“We can speak about how the Serie A was monopolized by Juventus. They would buy the best players and it was not Juventus’ responsibility to slow down in the market so that everybody else can catch up. Juventus continued to work in a way where they still got good players after Cristiano Ronaldo left. AC Milan and Inter are now also going big in the market and trying to compete toe-for-toe as the best teams in the Serie A,” said Mokwena.

The Downs mentor added: “For us, we will not look back but we will focus on a way forward, our targets and we don’t spend too much time worrying about what everybody else is doing. And to be honest, it is none of our business. It is a mammoth task to catch up with Sundowns.”