Brazilians Target: Who will Replace Keagan Dolly?

With Mamelodi Sundowns believed to have put their interest in Maritzburg United’s Deolin Mekoa on hold, we take a look at whether the 23-year-old is a necessary signing for the Brazilians.

It was confirmed by Mekoa’s agent, Glyn Binkin, that talks between the club and the player have come to a halt. However, is Sundowns’ diminishing interest in the South African U23 player justified?
Who will Replace Keegan Dolly

Sundowns have not really managed to replace Keagan Dolly, who only played five games in the 2016/17 season before departing for Montpellier.

However, looking at Dolly’s starts from the 2015/16 seasons, he can be compared to Mekoa and will be used as a benchmark that the Brazilians can use to establish whether Mekoa can fill that void in their team.

Comparing Dolly’s last 38 matches for Sundowns and Mekoa’s 49 for Maritzburg, both players proved to be highly effective in the final third, with Dolly making 3,5 successful passes in the final third (71.12% accuracy), while Mekoa makes 3.33 successful final third passes (69.36% accuracy). 

This attests to Mekoa’s potency when it comes to making the difference up front. Furthermore, Mekoa assists 1.49 shots per game, compared to Dolly’s 1.58. Although, Mekoa is no match for the Bafana Bafana star when it comes to crosses, making just 2.27 crosses per game, while Dolly made 3.29. 

Dolly also beats Mekoa in terms of the 0.95 dribbles that he made per game, with Mekoa making just 0.63.

Dolly proves superior to Mekoa in other areas, including passes, shots and assists to shots. The only area where Mekoa outclasses him, in fact, is in the air. His aerial challenges won amounts to 1.84, compared to Dolly’s 0.47. It is an asset that Sundowns could easily exploit in every part of the pitch.

However, Mekoa seems to generally fall marginally short of Dolly, but it must be considered that the former Ajax Cape Town man was regarded as one of the best players in the league, while Mekoa has been playing for a relatively less successful team. 

At the age of 23, he still has room to grow and perhaps he could match up to the lofty expectations set by Keagan Dolly. - Soccer Laduma

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