Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has thoroughly explained the actual reasons why they signed Bradley Ralani.
Masandawana signed Ralani from Cape Town City on an 18-month contract in December after his exceptional performances for the Citizens since his return to Mzansi after a decade in Europe.
Mngqithi says they were searching for someone who is more creative with dribbling skills—and felt the veteran winger can fit perfectly.
“The truth of the matter is when you sign a 34-year-old, people are already looking at you and say what are you trying to do,” he said on Ultimate Sports Show.
“But when you look at numbers of Surprise Ralani you will be surprised because his numbers surpass by far the numbers of our players in terms of high intensity runs, number of dribbles, number of successful dribbles, number of shots at goal and number of assists.
“He has been consistent in that space, we just believe is one of those underrated players that probably ready to be worth of maybe getting some serious awards in the league because he has been very consistent, and his numbers will surprise you.
“We needed that type of winger, we needed dribblers, people who can assist in one v one situation, dominate and get assists in total, and Bradley is not a surprise in that space.
“He has had far too many assists, scored, creates goals here and there for his team and that’s why we were all interested, and he has been consistent in doing that.”
The 34-year-old has been with the Citizens before moving to the Tshwane giants, and now Mngqithi revealed that they wanted him long before he returned home from Sweden.
“To be honest, we should have signed him even before he joined Cape Town City because we knew about him earlier, there are always those elements of doubt about a player who spent most of his time in Europe, and when he came to Cape Town City, we were following him, and we should have signed him long ago to be honest,” Mngqithi explained.
“We still believed we need him, not merely for PSL because, for the PSL we are where we are with players that we already have, but always a bigger fish that is always creating focus for us and that is the Champions League.
“We believed a player of his experience, a player of his talent, and a player of intensity will really help us in achieving the ultimate within the continent because that’s where our eyes are.
“Sometimes when you look at us, signing players and think we are focusing on winning the Champions League, yes, of course, to qualify for the Champions you need to win the Championship or be number two of the championship.
“But our biggest challenge is to try to get ourselves closer and better than the teams that we are competing within the Champions League, and we believe in that space, he will really, help us and that’s the most important thing.”
Ralani is expected to be joined by Bolivia international midfielder Erwin Saavedra when Masandawana resume for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign.