Kaizer Chiefs almost parted ways with Itumeleng Khune back in 2015 however who did their decision suit? Take a look at all of the statistics before deciding
The date is 02 July 2015, South African football is thrown into utter chaos after giants Kaizer Chiefs announce goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s contract will not be extended at the club.
Not only will Khune’s contract not be extended at his boyhood club but club boss Kaizer Motaung publicly slams the long serving star goalkeeper.
Fast forward five years later and should the above have materialized for both player and club? Now I’m going to get some flack for touching on this topic but the statistics don’t lie.
THE KAIZER CHIEFS AND ITUMELENG KHUNE RELATIONSHIP BROKEN DOWN
Kaizer Chiefs and Itumeleng Khune were a relationship straight out of a movie. The Amakhosi gave the Ventersdorp born goalkeeper a lifeline to a better life at the tender age of 13 and boy did it pay, well for majority of his career.
After climbing through the youth ranks, Itumeleng made his Kaizer Chiefs debut in 2007. Khune led the club to a number of trophies while cementing his place as the country’s number one goalkeeper.
His Kaizer Chiefs heroics saw him own the Bafana Bafana number one spot for a number of years which included the historic 2010 Fifa World Cup along with AFCON tournaments.
Despite just being a benchwarmer when Kaizer Chiefs defended their league title during the 2004/05 under Ted Dumitru, the early taste of success set the bar for both the Itumeleng Khune and Kaizer Chiefs going forward.
Khune was instrumental in Kaizer Chiefs’ two league title triumphs in 2013 and 2015 under Stuart Baxter. Khune has also won two Nedbank Cup trophies.
He further went on to win won four Telkom Knockout Cup and four MTN8 titles between 2004 and 2015. More impressively for Khune was his dominance over goalkeeper individual awards. He won 17 awards before 2015.
Kaizer Chiefs provided him with a perfect platform and Itumeleng Khune executed his skills in a similar manner. And then came 2015, the year everything took a turn for the worst for both Itu and the Amakhosi.
CHIEFS HAS NO PLACE FOR KHUNE – KAIZER MOTAUNG
“Khune’s case became even more disrespectful to the club when he sent us a note that he will talk to us when he comes back on June 18,” said Motaung on 02 June 2015 as quoted by TimesLive.
“One thing is that we cannot be held ransom by anyone. The game and the club is bigger than anyone hence we have decided to move on. We could not wait for June 18.
“The message is very clear to everybody. If it comes to money and nothing else then Kaizer Chiefs has no place for you. It does not take one or two players to make a team. We look after our players well. I can be proved wrong, but Khune last season was the highest-paid player. But we understand that life should go on and people should be free to move on.”
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) June 2, 2015
Kaizer Chiefs and Itumeleng Khune are both yet to win a single trophy since 2015. In fact, the club have endured arguably their most difficult piece of history over the last five years.
While injuries were a great factor, Itumeleng Khune’s form has also hit rock bottom over the past few seasons. Khune lost his number one Bafana Bafana position while he’s currently being frozen out of his boyhood club after committing grave errors during recent weeks.
KHUNE’S CLEANSHEET STATISTICS IN THE LEAGUE
KHUNE BEFORE 2015:
- Matches: 176
- Cleansheets: 86 (49%)
- Goals conceded: 122 (0.6 goals per game on average)
KHUNE AFTER 2015:
- Matches: 89
- Cleansheets: 39 (43%)
- Goals conceded: 76 (0.8 goals per game)
It is an undeniable fact that Itumeleng Khune’s form has dropped quite drastically since 2015 however just how much has it affected Kaizer Chiefs and vice-versa?
Let us know know in comments section below regarding your thoughts on whether Itumeleng Khune should have parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs back in 2015.