Sundowns sign former Liverpool and Chelsea winger Silva

Thulani Serero battles Toni Brito Silva Sa during the International friendly match between South Africa and Guinea-Bissau at Moses Mabhida Stadium on March 25, 2017 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns have strengthened their squad by signing Toni Silva‚ who last played for Levadiakos in the Greek Superleague.

The Brazilians‚ who won their eighth PSL title with a match to spare this past weekend‚ have entered into a three-year contract with the 24-year-old Guinea-Bissau international winger.

“He is from Guinea-Bissau but he’s Portuguese. He played for Benfica youth‚ played for Liverpool youth‚ he played for Chelsea youth‚” Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said on Wednesday.

“He had a good youth programme. He was playing with [Manchester City midfielder] Raheem Sterling but he has never reached his full potential.

“He says this is it now. We got him from Greece‚ where he was playing. He had challenges there.

“You know the financial system in Greece‚ the economic situation there. He was never paid money and he decided he had to leave.”

Silva was born in Guinea-Bissau but grew up in Portugal. He played for the Portuguese under-17 and U-18 squads but made his full international debut for Guinea-Bissau when he scored on debut in a 3-2 victory over Zambia in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in 2016.

Mosimane said Sundowns beat Cape Town City to Silva’s signature.

“Cape Town City wanted him because Benni knows him. But he decided to sign with us‚” the coach said.

“We have to revive him and make him fit. You also understand that we are losing Khama [Billiat‚ the Zimbabwe international who has not renewed his contract‚ which ends in June]. So we need to strengthen. He is 24 turning 25.”

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