The former Orlando Pirates midfielder has been struggling to command regular game time at Tshwane giants of late

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has described Andile Jali as “a very important player in the team” while giving assurances that the midfielder’s future is secure at the club.

The midfielder went for four straight games without making the starting line-up until Wednesday’s 4-0 Nedbank Cup Last-16 win over Polokwane City in which he scored.

Although his Sundowns contract expires in June 2023, he appeared to have grown frustrated at the limited game time, while speculation about his future surfaced.

But Mngqithi has assured that the player is in their plans.

“He is a very important player in the team, it would be sad to lose him because we know what he is capable of and he adds a lot of value to the team…. we would not want to lose him,” Mngqithi was quoted as saying by Phakaaathi.

“He has the right level of arrogance that you need in a player and he dominates the midfield and bosses, everybody, around in that space. That is one of his major attributes, he is not scared of anybody and he is always ready for a fight.

“He has been unlucky because at Sundowns if you have played well but unfortunately, you are then out for medical reasons or injury, you always find yourself out for longer because Lebogang Maboe has been doing well, Sphelele Mkhulise has been doing well but we gave Andile and opportunity this time around and we knew what we can get and he has a lot to give.”

It is yet to be seen if the former Orlando Pirates star will manage to start again in Saturday’s Premier Soccer League clash away at Stellenbosch.

He has managed 12 PSL games this season, starting nine of them but has not featured in any league match since the hosting of Chippa United on January 31.

In recent Caf Champions League matches, he has been making some cameo appearances.

The Sundowns coaches have been handing the 30-year-old full game time Nedbank Cup matches where they rest some key players.

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