Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has made a bold statement about midfielder Andile Jali, pitting him against the likes of Fortune Makaringe and Dean Furman.
Jali made a spectacular return to form in recent months and has since been rewarded with a recall to the Bafana Bafana side to face Sao Tome and Pricipe, which was named by coach Molefi Ntseki on Thursday.
The 29-year-old, who has established himself as a staple in the Sundowns line-up this season, has since been lauded by Mosimane for his dominance in midfield against opposition stars from Al Ahly, SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates.
“AJ is doing it every week, hey? You can put Al Ahly’s number-6 there [Yasser Ibrahim] and put [Aliou] Dieng, who plays for Senegal, there,” said Mosimane.
“You saw AJ, neh? Here and there [away leg in Cairo], so there’s no question about AJ. I think you saw him play against Dean Furman from the national team – no question.
“You saw him play against – we can mention whoever – Makaringe. AJ is AJ man, he’s quality. He’s got the spark back. But we also have to allow the coach [Ntseki] to choose whoever he wants to choose in the middle of the park.”
Bafana will assemble in Johannesburg on March 22 ahead of their first leg Group C tie against Sao Tome at FNB Stadium on March 27, before travelling away for the return fixture on March 31.
Six points could put South Africa in a commanding position to qualify for the 24-team tournament to be hosted in Senegal in 2021.