The Incumbent: Sibusiso Vilakazi (29 years old)
Last season, Vilakazi moved to a forward role, where his strong play with his back to goal was used as a focal point for the side as Tau drifted across the frontline to cause havoc. This campaign, Vilakazi has played numerous different roles, even in a deeper midfield role in some games where he is able to get more touches of the ball and dominate proceedings. Sadly, he has just sustained a terrible injury as he ruptured his left Achilles tendon on Bafana duty and will most likely miss the rest of this season.
The Successor: Phakamani Mahlambi (21 years old)
When Tau and Billiat left the club, and with big names like Jeremy Brockie and Aubrey Ngoma struggling, the coach jumped at the chance to sign a massively promising Mahlambi for a reported R13.2m. Mosimane has described him as very, very raw and needing several months of tactical training to refine his game. However, with 11 goals and nine assists in his limited PSL minutes (for Bidvest Wits) so far in his career, he has shown that he could easily be Sundowns’ next big sale to a European club. Thokozani Sekotlong is also an option.
Verdict: Vilakazi’s injury is a huge loss, as he would have been a great mentor to Mahlambi and also have been able to hold up the ball alongside him to create space and take attention away from the ex-Al Ahly man. However, Downs have signed a potential star of the future, who should be given the minutes he needs to develop, but now also faces real pressure to cover the loss of Vila. Jose Ali Meza has shown flashes of quality too, and perhaps all is not lost for Jeremy Brockie just yet.