Left cen­tre back

Soccer Laduma - - Make Your Point -

The In­cum­bent: Ri­cardo Nasci­mento (31 years old)

Since the de­par­ture of Alje Schut, Mosi­mane has been look­ing for a re­place­ment for the Dutch­man – a left­footed cen­tral de­fender to give bal­ance to the side. Nasci­mento ar­rived, and de­spite not pos­sess­ing pace, his out­stand­ing read­ing of the game and ball-play­ing abil­ity have seen him ex­cel in Sun­downs’ sys­tem. He re­cently signed a new three-year con­tract, so is far from fin­ished, but he will still need rest­ing and com­pe­ti­tion to keep him on his toes and re­freshed.

The Suc­ces­sor: Mosa Le­busa (26 years old)

In Downs’ sys­tem, it is a key be­lief of the coach to have a left-footed left cen­tre back. For that rea­son, Le­busa was bought from Ajax and moved per­ma­nently from full­back to a cen­tral role, as men­tioned by Pitso af­ter Le­busa’s de­but against Cape Town City:

“When he ar­rived, I said I wanted him as a left cen­tre-back. I think he is good. Muhsin Er­tu­gral, Ajax coach, played with three cen­tre-backs, and I was not happy that he came to me from that kind of sys­tem, be­cause I need four at the back, not five. I made him do a lot of match anal­y­sis on Nasci­mento, and asked him to tell me where Nasci­mento went right or wrong – that’s the train­ing he now does at Sun­downs.”

Ver­dict: The Tsh­wane gi­ants now have two great op­tions for one po­si­tion. The draw­back of this sit­u­a­tion is that Le­busa will have to dis­place Nasci­mento to get into the side, be­cause they are un­likely to play to­gether much – a clear sign of that is when Thapelo Morena got in­jured in the warm-up against Wits and Madisha had to move to right back. It was Arendse who came in from the stands (not the match­day squad) to part­ner Nasci­mento, ahead of Le­busa, who had orig­i­nally been on the bench. Two left-footed cen­tre-backs to­gether is a very rare sight. time be­fore Lakay makes this po­si­tion his own, es­pe­cially with Langer­man get­ting on in years and start­ing to suf­fer some in­dif­fer­ent form. The full­backs pro­vide the width in Downs’ game model and Lakay suits this role ab­so­lutely per­fectly.

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