Former Sundowns midfielder Bennett Mnguni says Gaston Sirino still has a role to play at the club

Playmaker Gaston Sirino is one of key and infuential players withing the star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns team.
Playmaker Gaston Sirino is one of key and infuential players withing the star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns team.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Bennett Mnguni has said that co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi‚ Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena must find a way to reintegrate midfielder Gaston Sirino.

During the transfer window‚ Sirino aroused the ire of Sundowns management by openly flirting with Al Ahly with the hope of forcing a move to the Egyptian giants and be reunited with former coach Pitso Mosimane.

The two teams could not find each other during transfer negotiations with the Brazilians declaring that Al Ahly could not meet their evaluation of the player and the Uruguayan is staying put at Chloorkop.

“I am not sure if there was a fall-out between the player and anyone at the club behind the scenes as a result of his public statements that he would like to join Al Ahly. But if they have not done it yet‚ the coaches must sit him down to clarify issues and move on‚” said Mnguni adding that Sundowns still need his services.

“I don’t think there is going to be a problem for the boy to come back to the team and the other thing is that we still need him. A way forward must be found because he has been an important part of the Sundowns attacking system and we can’t say that we don’t want him anymore.”

Sirino is yet to feature in the DStv Premiership this season where Sundowns have opened up a two point lead at the top of the standings after six rounds of matches and Mnugini said he must not expect to walk straight back into the starting line-up.

In his absence‚ his partner in crime Themba Zwane has established a devastating partnership with new recruits Peter Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus with the trio contributing 11 of the 13 goals that Sundowns has scored so far.

“I don’t think his space in the team is closed‚ he just needs to be focused and work hard to force the coaches to give him an opportunity in the starting line-up. He can’t just walk back in the team because all the players at Sundowns deserve to be in the starting line-up.”

Mnguni said the other player who is going to have to work harder to regain his position in the team is attacking midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi who has missed the start of the season due to injury.