Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes that Kaizer Chiefs missed George Maluleka in the PSL title run-in after they didn’t offer him a short-term contract extension letting him leave early instead.
Maluleka shocked many when he announced in June that he would not be renewing his contract with Kaizer Chiefs and had instead signed a pre-contract with rivals Sundowns.
Then Covid-19 hit and the clubs were forced into a difficult situation as the season was extended and player contract needed to also be extended to cover the remaining months of the season.
Amakhosi, however, opted not to retain the services of the 31-year-old despite him being a core player in the team as they didn’t offer him a short-term extension.
Chiefs then went on to botch their lead in the title race as Sundowns snatched the title on the final day of the season.
Mosimane has since said that if he was at Chiefs he would have kept Maluleka on because he was such a vital part of the team throughout the season.
“They said no. If I was a coach at Chiefs, I would keep him. Why not? But you must also [understand], sometimes it’s beyond you as a coach, there are club owners,” said ‘Jingles’.
“You are employed, this is our club, we don’t want him. If it’s me, yes. I’ve done it at SuperSport, when Calvin Marlin signed for Sundowns but he played all the games.
“Bongani Zungu had already signed a pre-contract [with Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes] and he stayed with us.
“I mean, do you think a credible player like George Maluleka will score an own goal for us? No guys, these are professionals.
“It’s like you [as a journalist], if you know you are leaving for another job and you’re serving [your notice period], so you’re not coming to work? Hayi, no, it doesn’t work like that.
“So, if he does that [gives less effort because he’s leaving], then we also say, ‘Hey, who did we sign here?’ So, for me, I don’t think it was that.
“But, yes, George was important for set pieces, even Lebogang Manyama. George was very important on that diamond shape that they have – him and Manyama [alongside each other], with Katsande sweeping behind them.
“So, it gave them really a big [headache]. Did they miss him in my opinion? Yes, I think so.”
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