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Opinion: Sundowns to join Chiefs in chase of missing link?

Mamelodi Sundowns could join the likes of Kaizer Chiefs in pursuit of a striker that's currently hot property in the DStv Premiership. 

Chiefs were rumoured to be chasing Stellenbosch attacker Ashley Du Preez last season but the talks died down after the Western Cape side declared the diminutive attacker not for sale.

"Du Preez, he's one of our key assets, the way he plays, he's key to Steve's philosophy and how we want to play the game, so at this stage and for the foreseeable future, Ashley du Preez is a Stellenbosch Football Club player," CEO Rob Benadie told Kickoff at the beginning of the season.

"We have got him secured, so unless my favourite club from overseas comes in for him I don't think he's going anywhere."

Du Preez has become more influential for Stellies, with five goals so far this season, including a stunning long range effort against Kaizer Chiefs, that looped over goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and found the top corner.

The 24-year old continued to impress against the bigger sides, as he was a thorn in Sundowns' flesh over the weekend, after creating a penalty by getting the better of Khuliso Mudau, who fouled him in the box.

After the game, Mngqithi acknowledged the danger that Du Preez had, that forced them to take out Mudau at half-time and put on Thapelo Morena. 

"Mudau was feeling a little bit of a hamstring, we felt because of the intensity that was put in by [Ashley] Du Preez and Dimgba, it was always going to come so we realised it's better for us to take him out because already he was not feeling good but I don't think it's something serious at this stage," Mngqithi told SuperSport after the game, as per Soccer Laduma.

"It's just that we had to be cautious at this stage of the season, when we've got so many games back-to-back and I think Thapelo came in and gave a very good account of himself.

"We could have done better honesty speaking. One would say we could have taken all the three points but unfortunately it was not to be," he added.

Sundowns are always looking to improve their squad, adding qualities that they don't have.

In acquiring Neo Maema last season, co-coach Rhulani Mokwena explained that they needed a left-footed attacker, who could give them a different dimension, something they did not have. 

"We knew that with all the wingers that we have in the team‚ Neo allows us to have a left-footed winger. People will say it doesn’t sound like a detail that is big enough or worthy enough to go into the market," Mokwena was quoted as saying by SowetanLive.

“The scarce resource of a winger with the right profile is something that you don’t find in the local market‚ so the availability of Neo helped us to be able to recruit a left-footed winger with age still on his side‚ and enormous potential to develop and become better," he added.

Currently, Sundowns don't really have a speedy attacker (except Morena who can play multiple positions), who can be their dangerous player on transition, as they rely a lot on ball players and after Du Preez gave them a tough time over the weekend, he could make it into their wishlist for next season.

And when the Brazilians are seriously interested in a particular player, money is never a problem. 

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Chiefs Du Preez Mamelodi Sundowns Rob Benadie Stellenbosch


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