Micho: Mlambo the Alonso of SA football
Posted: 12 February 2018 Time: 13:30
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has labelled new signing Xola Mlambo "the Xabi Alonso of South African football".
Mlambo made his second appearance for Pirates when he came on for defender Diamond Thobola in the Nedbank Cup game against Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
'Ten-Ten', as Mlambo is affectionately known, won admiration from Bucs fans with his skills and accurate passes in the middle of the park.
Sredojevic's men beat Ajax 2-0 to advance to the next stage of the competition and gain revenge from a recent 3-0 league loss to the Urban Warrriors.
"I regard him as the Xabi Alonso of South African football. Each pass comes with thinking in his head," said Sredojevic of Mlambo, who joined Bucs last month from Bidvest Wits.
"He is readjusting from the style of play from Wits coming to us. We believe we have got a player to add value to our midfield... very close with his technical abilities. I call it press-resistant under pressure to control the ball, to win the ball and to play two-way traffic, something he has with him.
"We just see as a technical team huge space for him to improve and add huge value to the team. We are privileged to have him amongst us," added the Serbian, who last year also likened his versatile captain Thabo Matlaba to German legend Philipp Lahm.
Spaniard Alonso was one of the world's best central midfielders in his prime, starring for the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich before retiring in May 2017.
Pirates are set to travel to Port Elizabeth to face Mlambo's former team Chippa United in their next league match on February 25.