Kaizer Chiefs fans love Itumeleng Khune as much as they love the club. The 34-year-old goalkeeper’s absence on the pitch has become its own unique pressure on Stuart Baxter.
KAIZER CHIEFS COACH STUART BAXTER ASKED WHEN ITUMELENG KHUNE WILL RETURN
Khune has been out throughout the times of Steve Komphela, Ernst Middendorp, and Gavin Hunt, yet Stuart Baxter seems to be feeling the full intensity of the pressure to play the club icon.
Leading up to the weekend’s Soweto derby, Baxter was asked to reveal when Khune will take the Amakhosi gloves again from the superb and in-form Brendon Petersen?
Baxter began by praising Khune’s excellent career at Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana, his professionalism as a third or even fourth choice before saying he is honestly not sure when Khune will play again.
“The credit that I give to Itu [Khune] is the fact that he has such an outstanding career. He played for me in the national team [Bafana Bafana] and for the title-winning Chiefs team, and he finds himself in a position he is in with arguably the best goalkeeper squad in the league,” said Baxter during Thursday’s press conference as quoted by FARPost.
“And he is still coming to training every morning, doing his work and making himself as available as possible; when he was to stop doing that, you would see a lot of things drying up for Itu,” he added.
“But he has decided he wants to be serious about his career and put as much pressure on the others as he can and give himself the best chance.
“When he doesn’t do that, he will probably knock on my door and say, ‘coach, you know what? I’m throwing myself around in the penalty area and getting kicked… I am going to pull out, he hasn’t done that, and we are very pleased about that, and he is still competitive.
So I can’t tell you when he is going to get in the team, it will be a lot of factors, I am sure, but as long as he keeps himself available and selectable, then he’s always got a chance.”
WHY THESE THREE CLUBS CAN AFFORD KHUNE IF HE LEAVES
In a related post, we recently had a look at three possible local destinations if Khune decides to say goodbye to Kaizer Chiefs.
It’s not unreasonable to think the Ventersdorp-born star will want to exit Naturena if he remains benched. So, which PSL teams could sign him and why? More especially who can afford his salary?
It is a fact that no club in the world can always keep unhappy players, legends or not. Based on his self-promotion on social media these days, it is quite apparent that the 34-year-old goalkeeper is itching to get opportunities to play.
Khune has made only one appearance this term, last season he only notched 18 while playing only six times in 2019/20.
We all know that only a few local clubs can afford Khune’s salary after Kaizer Chiefs. Those that have the money will be aware of the massive marketing potential to sign the Ventersdorp-born star. Read the full story here.