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Mamelodi Sundowns hint at Abubeker Nasir exit

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has hinted at a possible exit for the club’s attacker Abubeker Nasir.

The Ethiopian international was once again a notable absentee when Sundowns played to a 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Saturday night.

Nasir joined Masandawana in 2022 from the Ethiopian giants Coffee SC. The 23-year-old forward came with high expectations after scoring 29 goals for his former team in the 2021/22 season.

The talented attacker was also named Best Young Player and The Most Valuable Player in the Ethiopian Premier League before joining Sundowns.

In his first season at Sundowns, Nasir showed a glimpse of a good player after scoring a brilliant goal on debut against Kaizer Chiefs in August 2022.

Nasir has seen his progress at Sundowns hindered by persistent injuries. The utility player has played 18 games in all competitions since he arrived at Downs and scored four goals.

Interestingly, the number nine jersey, previously associated with Nasir, has been taken over by Sundowns’ new player, Esquivel. Masandawana currently have Marcelo Allende, Lucas Ribeiro, Junior Mendieta, Abdelmounaim Boutouil and Matias Esquivel as five registered foreigners.

Article 34.2 of the National Soccer League [NSL] handbook states that: “A member club may not have more than five foreign players contracted with it at any point in time.’’

One foreign player was de-registered from Sundowns to accommodate Esquivel’s debut against Pirates. While speculation points to Nasir, official confirmation is pending.

Peter Shalulile, Devine Lunga, Denis Onyango, and Brian Onyango are registered as locals as they hold permanent South African residency.


With the growing concern emerging about Nasir’s injury, Rulani Mokwena has given a worrying update on the star and hinted that he might be on his way out.

Rulani Mokwena celebrating with Abubeker Nasir
Rulani Mokwena hint at Nasir exir at Sundowns

“I think with Nasir, the club will make an announcement, but Nasir has got a very difficult and complicated injury that he sustained in the Pirates game against [Siyabonga] Mpontshane,” Mokwena said.

“He hasn’t recovered, and he’s really struggling to recover, which is a bit unfortunate because when you use the term career-threatening, that type of a situation is really career-threatening. He needs all the support that we can give him; of course, he’s at a good club that looks after its players. So he’s in the right place, and hopefully, we’ll see him back sooner rather than later.”

Meanwhile, the Brazilians will switch their focus to the Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash against Motsepe Foundation Championship side NB La Masia on Tuesday, 20 February.

The Tshwane giants last won the Nedbank trophy in 2022 after beating Marumo Gallants 2-1 in the final at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

RELATED STORY: Sundowns star Abubeker Nasir reveals his admiration for Messi

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