Mamelodi Sundowns’ Cassius Mailula has caught the attention of football enthusiasts after a series of impressive performances this season.
However, Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos suggested that Mailula remain in South Africa for another season before thinking about moving to Europe.
The 21-year-old has made 22 appearances in all competitions for Masandawana, scoring 14 goals and providing four assists.
His form has earned him a call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Liberia.
The talk of Mailula’s future has been circulating in football circles, with some suggesting he should make a move to Europe after this season, while others believe he should stay at Mamelodi Sundowns to develop further.
Reports have even emerged of European clubs monitoring his progress.
During the press briefing for the Bafana Bafana squad announcement, Broos was asked about Mailula’s future and whether he should move to Europe in the winter transfer window.
“You have to be careful about sending such a player too soon to Europe,” Broos said.
“Honestly, I don’t think he’s ready for Europe. Mailula is doing very well; it’s his first season, last season he played a few games, but now he’s made a breakthrough.”
Broos advised Mailula to stay at Mamelodi Sundowns for one more year and play in the CAF Champions League to aid his development.
“Don’t underestimate going to Europe, especially for a striker; it’s very difficult,” he said.
While Broos acknowledged the excitement around Mailula’s talent and potential, he stressed that he needed more time to develop as a player before considering a move to Europe.
“He has the potential, but don’t take that decision too soon. Let him take some more experience at the high level; Sundowns is always in the Champions League, so let him stay another year. It will be good for him.”
Mailula will hope to make his debut for Bafana Bafana when they take on Liberia in back-to-back 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.
The matches will take place on Friday, 24 March and Tuesday, 28 March.
Both games will kick off at 18:00 (SA time).
South Africa are ranked 67th in the latest FIFA rankings with Liberia down in 150th place.