Mamelodi Sundowns have remained tight lipped on the future of one of their key players Andile Jali, who has had a slow start to the 2022/23 DStv Premiership season.
Jali formed an integral part of the Sundowns team that made a clean sweep to win the treble last season. Jali was rewarded for his impressive performance, and he scoped the DStv Premiership Midfielder of the Season award, MTN8 Last Man Standing and Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament at the 2022 PSL awards.
The Matatiele-born midfielder’s contract with Masandawana is expiring at the end of June 2023, which makes him eligible to sign a pre-contract with any club of his choice, should Sundowns not extend the contract.
Jali joined Sundowns at the beginning of the 2018/19 season from the Belgian outfit K.V. Oostende where he spent four seasons with the club. The 32-year-old midfield maestro amassed 106 appearances in all competitions for Oostende, and scored two goals while contributing six assists before coming back to South Africa.
This season, Teboho Mokoena has been the preferred choice in central midfield position, benching big name players like Jali, Bongani Zungu and Mthobi Mvala.
However, Mokoena was left out of the Carling Black Label Cup starting line-up, which is voted for by the fans, and the former SuperSport United star confidently said that he’s a big player and he doesn’t need anyone to reassure him of his qualities.
“I’m a big player and I don’t need anyone to tell me that I’m a big player, that’s why I’m playing for Mamelodi Sundowns and that’s why I’m playing in the first team,” Mokoena told the media at Chloorkop.
Furthermore, Mokwena who was recently appointed as a sole head coach of Sundowns has also agreed to the big player claims made by the youth product of Harmony Sports Academy.
“Mokoena is an incredible human being with a good heart that looks after his teammates, coaches and even his family,” said the former Orlando Pirates assistant coach.
“Maybe the word modest I can’t use anymore because he spoke about himself as a big player, it’s true because big players produce,” added the tactician.
With Sundowns yet to open contract talks with Jali, it remains to be seen whether he will extend his contract or sign a pre-contract with any club of his choice come January.