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Stunning Mailula stats: Have Mamelodi Sundowns found their next Tau?

19:30 GMT+3 02/01/2023
Cassius Mailula
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder helped ensure the Brazilians ended 2022 on a high after scoring in their 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates

It's early days yet but Mamelodi Sundowns youngster Cassius Mailula has made a sensational start to his senior football career.

Mailula's goal against the Buccaneers took his total in the DStv Premiership to four this season - from only four matches, having also grabbed one assist in that time.

In total he's played just 242 minutes in the league, meaning that he's scoring at a rate of a goal every hour, or at 1.5 goals per match.

In addition, Mailula has also shown that he's not intimidated by playing at the highest level of club football on the continent - he's netted twice in two Caf Champions League games - from just 127 minutes of action.

Add in eight minutes of MTN8 action (no goals), and Mailula's overall stats this season read: 8 games, 6 goals, 1 assist, 377 minutes played; a goal every 63 minutes, or a goal involvement every 54 minutes.

While it will of course be difficult to maintain a strike-rate anything like the above numbers over a season, it has been nothing less than a stunning start by the youngster.

Of course it’s still early days and one can’t get too carried away. But there does seem to be an aura about the player – a sense of confidence in himself that he can shine on the biggest stages.

It already says a lot that Mailula has leapfrogged a bunch of far more experienced players at Sundowns to earn himself game-time – it’s not easy for any youngster from the development ranks to break through into the first team at the big-spending Brazilians.

Tau comparisons could also heap pressure on him, though it seems like he’s equipped mentally to handle that.
And it’s interesting to note that unlike Al Ahly striker Tau, who was loaned out to first-division side Witbank Spurts to get some more experience, Downs have not gone that route with Mailula.

Certainly there are similarities between the two players – both are nuggety compact attackers with a great sense of balance, a lovely touch, the ability to go on mazy runs, and a cultured left boot.

If he carries on with his good form for the Brazilians, it’s surely just a matter of time before Mailula joins Tau in the Bafana Bafana setup.
Next up for Mailula and his Sundowns teammates is Tuesday evening's league clash with Swallows FC at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.