Here is the story: Some teams can build almost their whole squads with R51 Million, but Mamelodi Sundowns paid that amount for one player, Marcelo Allende.
With so much paid for his services, Allende was expected to be the best thing ever to happen to both Mamelodi Sundowns and the Dstv Premiership.
And the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint, announcing his arrival with some deft touches and two goals in two matches for his new club.
The biggest question though, is whether the Chilean has shown the potential his price tag suggests, is he dishing out R51 million performances for Downs?
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The fact of the matter is: Despite scoring just three goals, and managing a single assist in twenty-two games across all competitions for Mamelodi Sundowns, Allende has been effective.
His work rate is impressive, his play making abilities are top class, he has the ability to keep Downs passing moves going, which makes him a vital cog in the Sundowns midfield machinery, considering their possession based style of play.
But, perhaps what makes Allende even more valuable for Sundowns is his choice of passes.
The Chilean is not afraid to play the risky incisive passes with a high probability of losing possession, but which can have a greater reward by resulting in a goal scoring opportunity if they come off.
That is what modern football demands from attacking midfielders, playing it safe doesn’t cut it anymore.
The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward has become the name of the game, and Allende knows how to take risks that have a possibility of a higher reward.
Not only does he take risks in possession, he does it off the ball as well.
Many a time we have seen him committing tactical fouls when Downs rest defence is at risk of being bridged during opposition counter-attacks.
That is a characteristic of an intelligent player who can read game situations quickly and make calculated decisions.
Before joining Downs, Allende had played eighteen matches for Torque, scoring six goals in the process, but it is the five yellow cards in those eighteen games that shows Allende is not afraid to take one for the team when the situation demands.
It is not surprising that Rulani Mokwena prefers him as a regular starter in his diamond midfield four, Allende offers the team more in all five phases of the game, the fifth phase being set-pieces.
With a little bit more patience with him, as Rulani Mokwena alluded during the midfield dynamo’s early days at Sundowns, Allende can go on to become one of the best ever imports in South African football.
“Allende of course we are excited and it’s the same thing with [Abubeker] Nassir.
“But as I said with Nassir, Allende is a 23-year-old South American who comes from a different environment, style of play and league so again I plead for a lot of patience, and time,” said Mokwena last year after Allende had scored his first Sundowns goal against Stellenbosch FC.
“He needs to get to the culture of the club, the expectations, the way we do things here, we do things a little bit differently from how things were done for him in Chile.
“He has great potential but needs time for adaptation, he needs time to adapt to the culture, to the way of working.
“The food is different, the way we speak is different, the game here is different, so we need to be patient with the players.”
In a nutshell: Allende hasn’t delivered R51 million worth of performances just yet, but indications are he is heading that way.