Rulani Mokwena: Why Mamelodi Sundowns signed Zuko Mdunyela

Rulani Mokwena: Why Mamelodi Sundowns signed Zuko Mdunyela

Mamelodi Sundowns caught many by surprise when they announced the signing of Chippa United right-back Zuko Mdunyelwa last week, and coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained the idea behind this move.

With the demanding schedule Sundowns faces domestically and on the continent, Mokwena says every position needs at least two players. 

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The Brazilians currently have Bafana Bafana duo Khuliso Mudau and Thapelo Morena at right back, while Grant Kekana also serves as cover, but Mokwena revealed other plans for Morena, which is where Mdunyelwa comes in.

"No, well, the challenge is that in almost every other position, we've got two players, except right-back – we've only got Mudau," explained Mokwena.

"We've got Thapelo, but my feelings about Thapelo's position is completely different – I don't think, with the way we play and when I envisage the team, he's a right-back.

"This is when I envisage and look at the team, he doesn't fit into right-back in my mind, and so it's been very difficult to rest Mudau or play without him when he's suffered from injuries."

At 22, Mdunyelwa has shown plenty of promise already, with caps at national U23 level and having previously been part of Bafana’s COSAFA Cup squad. 

Mokwena has thus given credit to Downs’ structures, especially their scouting department, for having followed Mdunyelwa’s progress at the Chilli Boys this season.

"Zuko, we've followed a little bit and a lot of credit must go to the scouting department, our sporting director and his assistant, and the data department and the technical team and coaches for the work they've done in analysing him," he added.

"And then the club for securing a talent that I think is very promising.

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