Mamelodi Sundowns

Ralani and Mokoena: Mokwena explains why Mamelodi Sundowns signed duo

16:57 EAT 30/01/2022
Teboho Mokoena.
The PSL giants strengthened their otherwise strong playing unit after completing the two deals in January

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has discussed why the Premier Soccer League side signed both Bradley Ralani and Teboho Mokoena.

The Tshwane giants completed their first January business by bringing the duo on board from Cape Town City and SuperSport United respectively.

The tactician believes the two will make the Pretoria club even more competitive as they bring different aspects to their squad.

"Ralani's recruitment, of course, brings a lot of question marks, particularly because of his age, but in football, the most important thing in recruitment is to always try and bring the right players," Mokoena said in an interview with the club's media.

"Sometimes the right player is not a player between a certain age, the right player is sometimes because of the needs of the team and how you improve the quality and the strength of the team by training to use the type of player that you have and improving the different components of the team. 

"You can also decide to go with new players. We decided to go in that direction because of the profile of the player that Ralani is. "If you look at Ralani in terms of contributions to Cape Town City, and you can make a direct comparison to the type of player that he is and the average quality in the PSL and availability within the market.

"You also look at what you have in relation to the direction you want the team to go. If you have in mind that you want the team to be successful in the Champions League and the parameters that it will have to meet." 

The coach went further to defend Ralani's acquisition as he gave his statistics in the PSL to back up his point.

"Ralani is what we will call an outlier. His number suggests there is a huge difference between Ralani and the average performance in the PSL. He is already contributing to an average of 1.4 scoring opportunities as a midfielder, and the average in the PSL is 0.018," he added.

"Look at where all of those actions are happening, and unfortunately, when playing for a team like Cape Town City, that also opts for high-press, Ralani was winning 1.6 balls in very aggressive areas that resulted in more chances than the average offensive midfielder in the league at 0.4. 

"So, his numbers clearly suggest that he is a player that can come in and immediately contribute to improving the squad."

On Mokoena, the coach explained: "Teboho represents the new breed of players that are being produced in South Africa. His professionalism, conduct, and his personality allow us to look for the greater benefit not only from a football perspective but also from a human perspective.

"What is surprising is that a lot of people think Teboho was recruited mainly from a defensive perspective to try and improve the team. A closer look at Teboho's profile suggests that, offensively, as a central midfielder, there is a great contribution to make to the team through the qualities that he possesses.

"In relation to all the midfielders we have offensively, he is showing better possibilities for even better contributions. When you think of Teboho, you think of a skilled player that averages 2.6 or 2.5 shots at goal per match. 

"Alarming statistics because there are even strikers who do not average two shots on goal per match."

The Brazilians have had a dream run in the season as they sit atop the table with a 14-point gap separating them from second-placed Orlando Pirates.