Malajila's Downs move – good or suicidal?

JOHANNESBURG -  After a storming season with Maritzburg United in which he scored 11 goals which kept his team in the Premier Soccer League, Zimbabwean striker Cuthbert Malajila is headed for Mamelodi Sundowns.

Downs coach Pitso Mosimane is a big fan of the Zimbabwean and termed him the missing link in his almost complete jigsaw puzzle.

At Chloorkop, Malajila is assured of almost doubling what he was getting from the KwaZulu-Natal club, reason being the Patrice Motsepe-bankrolled side pays big money.

Soccer being a short career, one has to take every opportunity to make the best while on top and Malajila seems to have grabbed the opportunity of playing for the big boys with both hands.

At Sundowns, he has an opportunity to secure his future and make as much money as possible while the sun shines.

While the move to the Pretoria side is a dream career move for the deadly striker, there is a school of thought that he would have done his blossoming profession a lot of good by staying at Maritzburg United. Here he was the darling of the fans and was assured of a starting place.

Now he will be joining a club that already has more than six out and out strikers. And these are international strikers of note. Among them are Zimbabwean counterpart, Nyasha Mushekwi, Liberian Anthony Laffour, Ghanaian Emmanuel Baffour, Mozambican Elias Pelembe, Bafana’s Richard Hanyekane, Katlego Mphela, Edward Manqele and Eliaza Rogers.

There is also talk that the club that recently signed Free State Stars goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene is on the verge of bringing in Katlego Mashego who finished the season as top goalscorer with 13 goals.

This is not good news for Malajila. If he fails to get going from the word go, he will head straight for the bench and there won’t be guarantees of his immediate recall.

Sundowns followers are some of the most notorious supporters in Mzansi. You get a purple patch and you become their darling but if your form dips, the notorious Downs fans can tell you to go back home.

Thing is Downs have not won a single silverware for a long time now and their fans have made it clear they are sick and tired of staying in the shadows of the two Soweto giants.

Coach Mosimane who joined the rich club at the middle of the season is also under pressure to deliver at least one cup this coming season and his patience is likely to be very limited.

While the smash and grab type of play suited Malajila very well at Maritzburg, Sundowns pride themselves in playing stylish football hence their nickname Abafana Basitayela.

Will Malajila adapt to the sometimes showboating of the Downs team? Will he handle the pressure of earning big bucks and fail to deliver?

While only time has answers to these questions, there is a possible danger that the striker might have bitten more than he could chew. He must hit the ground running because the club is chasing instant success.

The striker is coming with a lot of anticipation from the club and is being viewed as the solution to the cabinet drought. He is being brought in to bang goals on regular basis and he better do so from the first day.

Among all Mzansi clubs, Downs is notorious for killing players’ profession and I personally hope this won’t be the case for our lovely Malajila.

For now, let us wish him good luck for his impending blockbuster move. His success will be good news for the Zimbabwe national team. - Tinotenda Panashe

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