Golden Arrows coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi has disclosed their star forward Pule Mmodi was initially traumatised after his proposed transfer to Kaizer Chiefs fell through.
Mmodi, an explosive and skillful winger, was heavily linked to Chiefs last month. The 29-year-old winger even told Sowetan he was keen to play for Amakhosi. However, it's believed the move failed because Chiefs and Arrows couldn't agree on his transfer fee. Vilakazi has since made it known Mmodi initially struggled to accept he was going nowhere, adding the player has recovered now.
"It wasn't easy, I must be honest. In our first week when we came back, it was very difficult to deal with Pule psychologically because he was too sure he's leaving the club but one thing we reminded him is that the club was not fighting with him,'' Vilakazi said on the sidelines of the DStv Premiership launch at SuperSport studios in Randburg yesterday.
"The club is the one that actually said, 'Pule, if you find something, come to us and we'll release you'. The club was also trying to help in finding something but it was just not meant to be. He's better now. He's accepted the situation and he's now performing and ready for the new season. Now he's the Pule that we know. If we're playing a game tomorrow, Pule will be in the starting XI and he'll perform.''
The Abafana Bes'thende co-coach, who steers the ship alongside former teammate Mabhuti Khenyeza, also reiterated losing their skipper Nkosinathi Sibisi to Orlando Pirates wasn't a big deal as Ntsikelelo Nxadi is showing good signs of filling that gap, partnering with new skipper Thabani Zuke at the heart of their rearguard.
"We thought we were going to have a problem after losing Sibisi but honestly speaking in our last six league games of last season, he only played one against Sundowns where he got injured. We used the central defensive partnership of Zuke and Nxadi and they did well,'' Vilakazi stated.
"Losing Sibisi isn't something we can say it's a train smash because that boy [Nxadi] is growing everyday and we're comfortable."