Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has praised new signing Abubeker Nasir after his impressive start to life in South Africa at the weekend.

Mokwena says Nasir is likely to ‘raise the ceiling’ for the club a term more commonly used in basketball for a key player whose inclusion on an already good team improves them almost instantly.

The Ethiopian international broke through from the bench for Chlorkope, scoring his first goal in Saturday’s 4-0 rout of Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld.

“Incredible potential surrounded by other incredible players. You see a player like Nasir is probably going to come to our club and become what you would call a ‘ceiling raiser’ in basketball,” Mokwena said.

“He comes into a very good team and with the qualities he has, he can raise our profile – especially in attack – to something else.

“He still has a lot of work to do, he will improve. The way we play and train, the players are bound to improve and the same can be expected from Nasir [but], again. I ask for patience and time, so as not to push him.”

Downs, Mokwena reveals, have already invested in the 22-year-old even before he joined their pre-season training, getting him an English tutor as well as a translator now that he is here.

“When we signed him, he came back to Ethiopia and spent six months [during which] we had to take an English tutor with him to improve his English,” he explained.

“It’s at a relatively good level, although now we’ve also had to hire a translator for him because we’ve been struggling with some of the instructions and information we wanted to get across to him.”

Zola Molefe

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