Middendorp laments ‘painful’ Maluleka exit

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp has described the decision to let go of Midfielder George Maluleka as painful but also defended his new destination made it necessary.

The experienced midfielder was allowed to depart to title-rivals Mamelodi Sundowns – whom he signed a pre-contract agreement with for the 2020/21 season – before the culmination of the current season.

“We discussed it inside the club, even the player himself was involved with the management, and we came to the conclusion that its [a] delicate situation,” the German told the club’s website.

“If the new club would have been SuperSport [United] or another team that’s not really competitive with Kaizer Chiefs this season, I would say it would probably be a different story.

“But, knowing that the new club is Mamelodi Sundowns, it was very clear that we had to make a decision [to let him go].

“I think this decision is on one side painful because he was absolutely one of our core players since the beginning of the season in building a team, but we have options inside.

“I’m quite confident that we will get it right, pairing up the centre of the midfield with Willard Katsande as a first choice, and let’s see. We haven’t decided in the end, there are two or three options in the squad, and we will make the decision latest on Wednesday [Today],” the German tactician concluded.

Kaizer Chiefs face Bidvest Wits today at 18h00 (GMT+2) and it will be their first game to play since the departure of Maluleka.

‘Mido’ was a vital player for Amakhosi this season racking up six assists in 24 games across all competitions before the novel coronavirus halted football.