Mamelodi Sundowns’ exciting reported new signee and Bolivian international attacker, Erwin Mario Saavedra is expected to arrive in the country early next month as he is busy in Bolivia, sorting out his visa application, iDiski Times has learned.
Bolivian media reported this past weekend that Sundowns has reached an agreement with Saavedra’s Club Bolívar for the services of the 25-year-old attacker who is coming to the Brazilians highly recommended and also having captained Bolivar, the most successful football club in that country.
Bolivian football journalist Agustin Suarez was one of the first journalists to report on Saturday evening (16 January) that Saveedra’s move to Sundowns is close to being completed: ”Erwin Saavedra is currently negotiating his salary and other continental aspects of his transfer to Masandawana. Full agreement appears to be close,” he tweeted.
iDiski Times has also established that Saavedra is expected to arrive in South Africa after the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers, with Bolivia scheduled to play Venezuela away and Chile at home between 28 January and 01 February, as they look to qualify for the Qatar World Cup in November 2022.
This would be just in time before the DSTV Premiership champions resume the domestic season on 15 February and also start the group stages in the CAF Champions League where they have been drawn against their former coach and record 10 times African champions Al Ahly and two Sudanese giants Al-Hilal and Al-Merreikh in Group A.
Suarez revealed that the player is excited with the move and he becomes the second player Sundowns has bought from Bolivar after Gaston Sirino and third overall from Bolivia in recent years when counting Venezuelan Ali Meza from Club Deportivo Oriente Petrolero.
“In the last hours, I have been able to speak with Saavedra himself, and he’s preparing the visa papers to travel to South Africa as soon as possible. For local football and for the club, this is an excellent financial and sporting transaction.
“It is hoped that with this step in Erwin’s career, the possibility will open up for other Bolivian players to reach Mamelodi in the future. We know the greatness of the Brazilians, and that the South African league is really powerful. We expect the transfer to be announced soon,” Suarez told iDiski Times.
A member of the Bolivian national team, with 34 international caps and four goals – three of those coming from the Copa America tournament in Brazil in 2021 – Saavedra could prove yet to be one of the most exciting signings Sundowns has made from South America.
He featured in a total of 49 matches, scoring 15 goals and providing nine assists, contributing directly to 24 goals in all competitions last year, both at international and club level.
According to the stats he averages, two shots on target per match, 62% succession rate in dribbles and 48% in successful tackles rate. He is a multi-functional player who played in six different positions last season but spent more time in the right midfield and attacking midfield.
“Saavedra is a footballer who can play in the midfield in various positions. Thanks to his technique and speed he is a player who has scored many goals in his career, becoming one of the most important players of Bolivar, the most successful team in Bolivia. No doubt the fans here will miss him, but they wish him every success at Sundowns,” said Suarez in describing Saavedra’s play.
Meanwhile Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi revealed to Thomas Mlambo’s Ultimate Sport Show on Metro FM that Saavedra is a player that they had been monitoring and analyzing closely through their scouting team of Esrom Nyandoro and Tera Maliwa.
But he couldn’t confirm nor deny that a deal between Sundowns and Bolivar had been concluded, opting to say, the management has been handling the negotiations, with the deal reported to be worth R18.5 million ($1.2 million).
Story by Velile Mnyandu (@Velile_Mnyandu).