Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali is currently a free agent and in search of a new home after mutually opting to be released from his contract at Belgian Jupiler Pro League outfit KV Oostende in April this year.
The ‘Big Three’ clubs are all reportedly hot on the heels of Jali’s signature after he made his intentions clear to come back home and be closer to his family as he’s now a married man.
Now looking at all the three clubs, Mamelodi Sundowns are perhaps hot favourites to land his signature, having just won their eighth PSL title and are already competing in the CAF Champions League, a competition Jali has reiterated his desire to be part of.
The only ‘stumbling block’ for Jali to fit in at Sundowns and cement a regular playing spot is that he will face fierce competition to be able to slot in a midfield with ease which already boasts the likes of Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino, George Lebese, Oupa Manyisa, Lucky Mohomi, Thokozani Sekotlong, Aubrey Ngoma and the newly acquired Tony Silva.
His former club Orlando Pirates are just as much flooded in the midfield position with the likes of Musa Nyatama, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Thembinkosi Lorch, Mpho Makola, Thabo Qalinge (who is donning Jali’s famous number 15 shirt) and Abel Mabaso, which will also make it difficult for the 28-year-old to crack a starting berth.
Now looking at the Glamour Boys, who will not play in the CAF Champions League but will still compete on the continent in the form of the CAF Confederations Cup, it would seem like a better option for the former Buccaneers man.
Football Manager Bobby Motaung has already made it clear that the club will undergo both a technical and player personnel overhaul during the off-season to build a formidable competitive team for next season after a dismal campaign which saw the club go three terms in a row without bagging any silverware, which subsequently led to the club cancelling its annual tradition of hosting season-end awards at Naturena.
Now, this could come in handy for Jali to easily fight for a spot in the midfield, in fact the new incoming technical team could also look to build the team around Jali.
Keagan Buchanan, Bhongolethu Jayiya and Edmore Chirambadare are already earmarked with exits from the club though Hendrik Ekstein, Willard Katsande, Siphelele Ntshangase, Wiseman Meyiwa could be stiff competition for the former Oostende man.
All in all, Sundowns and Pirates already look like established sides who wouldn’t look to tweak too much as it might disrupt their playing style, but at Chiefs, Jali could be that talisman to spearhead a new midfield.