Evolution: What Keeps Sundowns At Top Of The Food Chain

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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 18: Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrates during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu FC at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 18: Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrates during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu FC at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns' centre-back crisis could be a thing of the past after announing the signing of Moroccan defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil on transfer deadline day. 

Boutouil became the first Moroccan player to join a PSL side after he was signed from Chabab Mohammedia. The 24-year old signed a three-year deal, with an option for two years at the reigning champions. 

Read: Official: Downs Defender Joins CT City

Sundowns had somewhat of a centre-back crisis after the likes of Brian Onyango and Grant Kekana went out injured, with Mosa Lebusa also out to due illness. 

Midfielder Mothobi Mvala had to plug the gap as a temporary solution, but the signing of Boutouil will address their defensive concerns, especially with the Brazilians starting their CAF Champions League campaign after the international break. 

"I am feeling very happy to join one of the biggest clubs in Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns," Boutouil told the club's media after his unveiling. 

"My goal is to win all the local cups in the PSL and what’s very important for me and for the club is winning the Champions League. 

"I am the first Moroccan player to come play in South Africa, [therefore] I am here to represent my country as a Sundowns player," he added. 

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Soccer Laduma looks at the evolution that it taking place at Sundowns after their recent signings and whether their new additions will help them maintain their dominance. 

Goalkeeping 

Ronwen Williams has played in all the games thus far after he joined the club from SuperSport United. 

That in itself shows how the club is already preparing for the future, to stay on top of their game, with Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene advanced in age, both 37. 

Defence 

The Brazilians have struggled to find the right replacement for left-footed centre-back Ricardo Nascimento, who played a key role tactically in how they build from the back. 

Lebusa has not exactly stamped his authority in the side as, Rushine De Reuck and Brian Onyango have been the preferred centre-back combination this season.

Boutouil, who was regarded as one of the most technically gifted left-footed centre-backs in the Botola Pro League could see the Brazilians regain their identity of having that tactical balance at the back. 

The Tshwane giants also had a shake-up in the left-back position after the signing of Terrence Mashego. 

Given that Mashego is already a Bafana Bafana regular, he could be the number one choice at left-back once he settles and that adds more competition and hunger in the team. 

Read: How Downs & Erasmus Reached Agreement For Termination

Midfield 

Sundowns have also refreshed their midfield personnel after signing Sipho Mbule and Bongani Zungu. 

To remain competitive, players have to fight for positions and the signing of Mbule and Zungu will keep the likes of Teboho Mokoena, Neo Maema, Haashim Domingo on their toes. 

Attack 

The Tshwane giants have ensured they don't rely only on Peter Shalulile and Themba Zwane for goals. 

The signing of Marcelo Allende and Abubaker Nasir has already created a competitive environment, with their new energy and ability to find the back of the net helping them to win important matches this season.  

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