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Cavin Johnson hails Surprise Ralani's Mamelodi Sundowns move

17:35 GMT+3 31/12/2021
Bradley Ralani, Mamelodi Sundowns, December 2021
The former Al Ahly assistant coach has lauded the signing of the tricky winger from Cape Town City

Cavin Johnson has described the arrival of Surprise Ralani as a "really good signing" for Mamelodi Sundowns.

Ralani was signed on a short-term deal from the Citizens after his inspiring performances at the Mother City club in the past three seasons.

And ahead of the Brazilians' busy schedule in 2022 that will also see the Caf Champions League return to Tshwane, the former AmaZulu tactician is confident that the addition of the former Helsingborg trickster would prove to be a good piece of business.

''From what I've seen and this what I saw back then when he was still overseas, I knew back then already that this is a very very good player,'' Johnson told GOAL.

''I think Ralani is probably one of the unsung heroes of South African's that have played abroad, and we were not able to see him at his best.

''Even though at Cape Town City, I've always liked Ralani. I've always liked his technical ability; I've always liked his tactical awareness.

''Within the game, you can see that this is someone that really enjoys playing football and I do know by him going to Sundowns, I think he is going to add more value to what Sundowns already have at the moment.''

Despite his brilliance, Ralani's acquisition sparked a debate on social media with some of Sundowns' fans questioning the decision to sign the 34 years after the coaches revealed that age played a huge role in their decision to cut ties with long-term serving skipper Hlompho Kekana, who was 36.

Johnson believes though that the two scenarios need to be looked at differently.

''For me, I don't think they got rid of Hlompho because of his age,'' the two-time Caf Champions League winner added.

''I think Sundowns are a little bit cleverer so maybe in Hlompho's case, they had more cover in terms of what he does in that position, and in Ralani's case, they felt they needed more, and they went out and got cover for that position.''

Ralani was a revelation at City and departs having engraved his name in the history books as having joined the club's exclusive list of players who have 100 appearances for the club.

And despite failing to register a single goal this campaign, he sits alongside Kermit Erasmus, Fagrie Lakay, and Aubrey Ngoma as the side's leading scorers with 17 goals.