Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has given a fresh update on goalkeeper Ismail Watenga who spent last season on loan at Chippa United.
Watenga joined Sundowns in October 2020 but he was loaned out to Chippa United to gain PSL experience while at the same the Tshwane giants couldn’t make space for him in their foreign quota.
Now, Mokwena has confirmed that Watenga remains a Sundowns player, adding that his situation is like that of Denis Onyango when he first arrived at Chloorkop.
Onyango had to spend a number of seasons out on loan, including stints with Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits before returning to Sundowns to be their No.1.
Now, Mokwena wants the 27-year-old Ugandan goalkeeper to follow in the footsteps of his countryman by being patient when it comes to playing for Sundowns.
Watenga has featured in just 24 competitive matches for Chippa United since 2020, and he has managed 10 clean sheets while conceding 24 goals.
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena. Photo: @Masandawana
RHULANI MOKWENA CONFIRMS WATENGA STILL BELONGS TO MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
“We like Watenga so much and we have tried to invest in him. We sent him out to Chippa to get more playing time,” Mokwena told Football256.
“He started reasonably well but unfortunately, he did not get much playing time towards the end but I believe that was due to the change of coaches at Chippa which disturbed his momentum a little bit.”
“Watenga is a very good goalkeeper with very good attributes, his agility is excellent, his speed and shot-stopping are very good and maybe he only needs to improve when it comes to build-up play,” he added.
“Watenga’s desire should be to follow in Onyango’s footsteps because he has got a huge potential and hopefully he can be at the club and play.”
“As far as Onyango is concerned it took him time to stamp his position at Mamelodi. We all remember that he went to Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits on loan before he came back and became Sundowns’ number one goalkeeper.”
“He came back and he has been very successful and maybe Watenga’s success lies in the journey of Onyango and he will need to pick up a little bit more from what Onyango went through,” Rulani noted.