Teboho Mokoena's unique role at Chloorkop has been revealed by his new coach (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Rulani reveals Mokoena's involvement with Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns, the reigning DStv Premiership winners, sealed the greatest transfer deal of the January transfer window last week when they completed the signing of Bafana Bafana midfielder Teboho Mokoena from SuperSport United, the highest transaction of the January transfer window.
A reputation as one of the league's, and perhaps the country's, best defensive midfielders evolved during his five-and-a-half seasons in Pretoria with Matsatsantsa. The 25-year-old arrived at Chloorkop following five-and-a-half seasons with Matsatsantsa.
According to Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena, it was Mokoena's attacking statistics that caught the club's attention. The Bethlehem-born star was signed to replace club veteran Hlompho Kekana, who had retired from the game due to injury.
Mokwena believes Teboho Mokoena's profile suggests that he will be able to make a greater contribution to the team offensively than defensively. "A lot of people would assume that he was brought in to improve the team's defensive performance, but Teboho Mokoena's profile appears to suggest that he will be able to contribute more to the team offensively than defensively," Mokwena says.
"In comparison to the other midfielders we have, he is displaying superior offensive potential and the potential to make even greater contributions," says the coach. The most concerning statistic is that [he] averages 2.5 shots on goal per match, which is a concerning figure considering that there are strikers in the PSL who don't even receive two shots on goal a match on a regular basis.
Therefore, when you consider the way in which we play and the types of opposition we encounter from time to time, you realize that when playing against reinforced defensive blocks that sit a little deeper, one of the most effective tools for breaking down a defensive block is shots taken from midfield or from outside the box. Teboho is, at the present, unquestionably the greatest in the country in this area.
Following the loss of Hlompho [Kekana] and the qualities that Hlompho could provide, qualities that contributed to the team's success over the years, it was critical for us to identify the profile of a midfielder who could assist us with regard to unlocking defensive blocks, with longer-ranged passes and longer-ranged shots, and who could also assist us in winning games."
Our midfielders did not have the quality, and that was a weakness in our team. In terms of the quantity of passes, critical passes, and forward passes, Teboho is the third-highest performer in the team, trailing only Riva [Rivaldo Coetzee] and Andile Jali, so those are the things we look into and the details we go into in order to improve our performance."
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