Will Mukuka Mulenga thrive at Sundowns?

Mukuka Mulenga Sundowns' Team profile
By MTNFootball.com Thursday Aug 22, 15:52 +0200
Zambia midfielder Mukuka Mulenga is about to find out whether his recent union with Mamelodi Sundowns is a marriage made in heaven.

This follows after the talented 20-year-old playmaker completed a big money move from Zambian club Power Dynamos of Kitwe on August 16.

His quick, short passing game made Sundowns scouts sit up during the 2012 Nelson Mandela Challenge when Zambia beat Bafana Bafana 1-0 at Soccer City.

Mukuka came on as a substitute midway through the second half to create the games’ lone goal scored by Collins Mbesuma to hand Zambia their Mandela Challenge Cup victory.

Meanwhile, Mukuka’s stock has been rising prior to that after making his FAZ Super Division debut in 2009 at Kabwe Warriors were he had his first taste of top flight football on loan from Kitwe Soccer Academy.

However, it was only a year later that he truly began to blossom after making a permanent move to Power where he was christened ‘Deco’ by the clubs fans, after the Brazilian-born ex-Portugal star.

A year later, he helped inspire Power to their sixth FAZ Super Division title and 2011 Barclays Cup triumph with some breathless displays in both competitions.

And despite Power stumbling in their bid to retain their league title in 2012, Mukuka made up for it by winning the player of the year award and also scoring 10 goals in a disappointing season without any silverware.

Click here to see Mulenga named Zambia Player of the Year.

His form at junior international level failed to hit a high although that did not stop Herve Renard from calling him up for the Mandela Challenge and the Frenchman didn’t think twice about gambling with him at the 2013 Africa Cup.

Mukuka thrived in Mbombela despite Zambia’s flopped defence of their AFCON title, and Sundowns persisted that he was the man they wanted at Chloorkop.

June and July were unforgettable months for Mukuka who did not disappoint after standing in for the injured Rainford Kalaba in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and later won the 2013 Cosafa Cup with Zambia, and was voted the tournaments’ most valuable player.

His mentor and founder of Kitwe Soccer Academy, Fred Siame, believes Mukuka – who to many now see as Kalaba’s heir – will shine at Sundowns despite the clubs’ reputation that it destroys rather than brings the best out of promising talent.

Siame, a former midfielder at Zambian club Zanaco, spotted Mukuka in 2006.

“I have seen Sundowns play with their entertaining short passing game. That is ‘Deco’s’ kind of game,” Siame said.