Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained why the club had to let go of striker Pavol Safranko.

Safranko spent only one season at Masandawana and won the DStv Premiership, MTN 8, as well as the Nedbank Cup titles but officially parted ways with the club last week.

The 27-year-old has since made a return to Romanian outfit and former club Sepsi OSK, whom he had left for Sundowns.

During his stay at the club, the Slovakian scored nine goals in 29 matches in all competitions.

Speaking after their 2-0 win against Tshwane rivals SuperSport United in the quarterfinals of the MTN 8 on Sunday evening, Mokwena said the decision was merely a football one, describing the lanky striker as a true profession of the game.

“We came under a lot of criticism when we, unfortunately, had to make a decision with Pavol (Safranko),” said Mokwena.

“But we knew we needed a different type of striker. We needed a different profile.

The talk must be about what type of striker you need for the type of game model that you going to use.

“If you go into the game at the highest level now, maybe the only top striker in a top team, in the top leagues that is still your back-to-goal type of striker is a Lewandowski,” he said.

“But you see now how the players are playing on the last line with possibilities to enter the final third, on the box with their faces facing the goal.

“Because then you need a little bit of speed, guile and creativity, and we knew we couldn’t get enough of that type of dimension with Pavol.”

“As much as he was excellent for us the times when we needed him, his contribution was immense.”

“His professionalism was incredible, but it was just a football decision, you know,” Mokwena explained.

Categories: Sport


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