Mamelodi Sundowns to spend 10 million Rand on Mendieta
- Sundowns are set to trigger the Stellenbosch FC midfielder’s release clause
- The 29-year old Argentine netted 10 goals last season
- Mendieta's arrival will offset the loss of Haashim Domingo and Surprise Ralani
Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena is set to sign ten million rand man Junior Mendieta (Getty Images)
Sundowns 2023-24 Season: Even more options
Despite winning the league title after just 23 matches, Mamelodi Sundowns are not resting on their laurels. Coach Rhulani Mokwena has sanctioned a move for Stellenbosch FC’s attacking midfielder, Junior Mendieta.
The right-footed Argentine provided the second-most goal contributions in the DSTV Premiership last season. He will now get to feature in the CAF Champions League next term. Sundowns are set to spend R 10 million on the playmaker, who has a release clause in his contract at the Winelands-based club.
Where will Mendieta play at Sundowns?
Last season, Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker used Mendieta on the left wing in a 4-2-3 1 formation. He had the freedom to drift inside and link with the striker but he was generally stationed on the flank when his side were defending.
The Brazilians play a different formation, using a 4-4-2 diamond. Mendieta would feature either on the left of that shape or play at the apex of the diamond behind the front two. With the advancing years of Themba Zwane, Mendieta could be seen as a potential replacement for that number ten role.
Junior Mendieta’s 2022-23 Season Stats
Despite being such an attacking and creative player, Mendieta also does his fair share of defensive work. He made 55 interceptions during the season and he regularly got stuck in to opposition fullbacks.
Overall, he scored 10 goals and had nine assists in all competitions and his 55 dribbles placed him fifth in the PSL leaderboards. He also picked up eight yellow cards as he got stuck into opposition fullbacks.
Mendieta scored four goals in the final four PSL matches of the season as Stellenbosch secured a sixth-place finish. The club languished in 15th place after 18 rounds of action before a fine finish to the season.
Mamelodi Sundowns 2023-24 Transfer News
Sundowns have released defensive midfielder Andile Jali. Centre forward Gift Motupa is another who could be handed his clearance.
Two players are set to depart at the end of their contracts in Surprise Ralani and Haashim Domingo. Both players occupy the same position as Junior Mendieta, who will boost options and competition.
You can be sure that there will be more signings and departures at Sundowns. Lyle Lakay and Siyanda Msani will return from loan spells, as will midfielder Grant Margeman.
The likes of Brian Onyango, Lesedi Kapinga and Thabiso Kutumela face uncertain futures. Premier Soccer League Golden Boot winner Khanyisa Mayo of Cape Town City is said to be a top transfer target.
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