JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that he’s always been fond of striker Thabiso Kutumela who’s been rumoured to be on his way to the club during the pre-season after an impressive outing at Maritzburg United last season.
After a turbulent first half of the season in the top-flight, Maritzburg were drawn into the relegation quagmire. As a result, they were forced to change coaching personnel as former mentor Ernst Middendorp replaced Eric Tinkler at the helm.
The return of the German brought a breath of fresh air to the team, including Kutumela who was handed the captain’s armband. Kutumela went on to churn out an impressive display under the German, finishing the league with 12 goals.
He missed out on the Lesley Golden Boot award, which was won by SuperSport United’s striker Bradley Grobler, by four goals. Nonetheless, there was a special recognition for Kutumela at the PSL awards which were held virtually on Sunday.
He was nominated for the top two categories: the Footballer of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards. However, he lost both awards to Sundowns’ marksman Peter Shalulile who had an outstanding season with the champions.
In the past few weeks, though, rumours have been rife that Kutumela would join the Brazilians next season after his impressive outing. Mngqithi didn’t confirm or deny the reports, only saying he’s always been a fan of the former Baroka FC striker.
“I like him. But I am not sure whether he’s coming to the club or not. He’s a very good football player. You can ask him, when he was still at Baroka, I liked him. I still like him even today,” said Mngqithi.
Mngqithi was speaking during the presentation of their record fourth league title in a row at the offices of vehicle sponsors Hyundai in Mamelodi Mall on Tuesday afternoon.