Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena believes Abubeker Nassir has been unlucky and has all the tools to become one of the best strikers on the continent.
The Ethiopia international forward joined Sundowns from Ethiopia Coffee after a record-breaking season where he scooped the league Golden Boot.
And he went on to remain at the club on loan before the club offloaded Pavol Safranko to register the highly-rated talent.
He enjoyed a blistering start to life at the club but a couple of injuries have seen him limited to just 17 appearances, with four goals to his name which Mokwena admits has been a blow – but suggests he has enough to come back even better.
“Regression is not always a bad thing, the analogy of a bow and arrow, is sometimes to go even further than people expect, you have to pull even further back,” Mokwena said about Nasir’s development since his arrival when asked by iDiski Times about his future.
“There’s a lot of reasons [for what’s happened] if you really review where he comes from – the type of intensity, the type of games he was used to playing, it’s the same with Lucas [Ribeiro Costa], he’s not used to this volume of games.
“Marcelo Allende [too], the physicality and intensity… so when players come in there’s always going to be an adaptation phase – and you don’t know how long that adaptation phase is but one thing is what’s 100% certain is that it’s not linear.
“It may turn left, right and if you lucky you move more forward than you do backwards [in your development], unfortunately for Nasir, he’s had to encounter a couple of setbacks, but it doesn’t even help that language is a barrier – so we’re trying to get him into that space.
“The culture is completely different but he’s definitely, for me, still a top talent – he has all the attributes to be one of the best strikers on this continent and he’s young, he has age on his side. He needs a lot more support, we need to give him support.”
Nasir will also now have additional support after Mokwena confirmed his family has officially relocated to South Africa, giving further credence to their faith in his abilities to become a success at Masandawana.
“His family has just moved now into South Africa, so hopefully that stabilises him a bit and he’s recovered from his injuries, he played but we’re precautious of not extending it to more than 45 minutes, so we’re trying to take it step by step with him. Top talent and we’ll reap the rewards later at Sundowns but we need to be a bit patient.
“He’s young, he’s 23, it’s a very good age, and he has all the weapons, he scores goals, he’s got speed, he dribbles and when you those three big weapons as an attacking player, you’ve got incredible weapons and hopefully he shows that potential.”
According to rumors,Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club striker Abubeker Nasir will leave at the end of season on loan to other teams so that he can get game time and he might be loaned back to Ethiopia.