A Premiership midfield trio you can build your team around

Patrick Maswanganyi of Orlando Pirates will be the hot favourite to win the PSL Midfielder of the Season award. Photo: BackpagePix

Patrick Maswanganyi of Orlando Pirates will be the hot favourite to win the PSL Midfielder of the Season award. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 13, 2024


There were a gaggle of midfielders that did the business last season in the DStv Premiership, and here Mihlali Baleka, Smiso Msomi and Obakeng Meletse discuss who they believe were the best...

Marcelo Allende of Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: BackpagePix

The midfield has evolved into a stats paddler’s universe, with the appreciation for the engine room running at an all-time low, Smiso Msomi insists.

Although Mamelodi Sundowns’ Marcelo Allende may not have made the PSL Midfielder of the Season nominations, I still believe he was the best midfielder in the country.

The Chilean international has mastered the deep-lying playmaker role, and is a huge part of the Brazilians’ quality-stacked midfield. Statistically he didn’t have a bad campaign and, in fact, improved on his debut season last year.

The 25-year-old registered four goals and six assists in all competitions for Sundowns, and was an ever-present figure with 44 appearances.

While Mihlali will insist that Orlando Pirates’ Patrick Maswanganyi made fans dance throughout the land, Allende consistently exhibited a mastery of midfield versatility, technical ability, as well as the exploitation of space on the field.

Devin Titus of Stellenbosch FC. Photo: BackpagePix

I don’t want to get between you guys in this debate, Obakeng Meletse interjects, but hear me out: For me, Devin Titus played his best season in what has been Stellenbosch FC’s most impactful season, capped with a third-place finish in the Premiership table and a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup, and backed up by their Carling KO triumph earlier in the season.

The 23-year-old had a remarkable rise in his career in a short period of time, and was at the centre of Stellies’ impressive league season, playing a total of 29 matches and scoring seven goals, to go with three assists.

His direct play, pace, consistency in defence and attack, and his ability to find himself in goalscoring positions has earned him an overall tally of 12 goals in 39 matches in all competitions.

Titus, in his right-wing position, does a lot of work on and off the ball, and his exploits this season have rightly placed him as one of the most promising midfielders in the country.

Patrick Maswanganyi of Orlando Pirates. Photo: BackpagePix

There are few positions as delicate as the midfield in football, Mihlali Baleka believes, given that this is the spine of the team. Hence, you can’t mess around with it ... As such, Sundowns and Pirates achieved the championship and runners-up finishes in the Premiership last season, so they had to be sound in the engine room.

But boy, it was Pirates’ new kid on the block Maswanganyi that stood head and shoulders above his peers in the top flight last season. Maswanganyi made Pirates tick going forward, with his ability to mesmerise defenders and the knack for goals and assists proving how much the team relied on him.

Of course, Maswanganyi could still improve his defensive game, but with all his attacking exploits, which kept ‘The Ghost’ on their feet at times, you’d prefer to see him going forward more.

The fact that he missed out on the Footballer of the Season nomination mustn’t deter him. Instead, he must strive to help the Sea Robbers cruise to the championship next season.

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