Itumeleng Khune’s continued non-selection on matchdays has raised questions as to whether the veteran Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper is now past his best and in need of a move away from Naturena.
Khune was again not in the matchday this past weekend for the Soweto Derby, thus registering game number eight that he has not been selected as Daniel Akpeyi keeps his place between the poles and Bruce Bvuma sits on the bench.
The 33-year-old last played in mid-December against SuperSport United and was then relegated to the bench for the next two matches before completely disappearing from the matchday squad.
In the five league matches he played he conceded 10 goals and made suicidal blunders that will now define his season if he doesn’t get to play again this term.
From being the most important player at Naturena, Khune has now dropped to a mere squad player who is even battling to break into the squad as the team does just fine at the back without him.
Since making his debut back in 2007, 'Itu' has been hero worshipped but now finds himself walking alone in dark spaces evidently unaware of where he is headed next.
There have been whispers of a possible move to the Middle East, where he is guaranteed a package that will either match or improve the multi-million-rand contract he is currently on at Chiefs.
In that part of the world age is never a factor.
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Word coming from Naturena is that Khune is not happy with his current situation as he is not used to being a mere passenger at the club.
Instead of driving into Naturena bubbling with confidence aware that his place between the posts is guaranteed in the next fixture if he is fit, Khune is now in both crisis and conflict and sinking into confusion.
It sounds unreal but this is what is happening with Khune, who is now being ignored having been treated like an egg in previous years.
Fact is that the blunders he made were lethal and he now has to pay the price regardless of what he has done for the team in the past. Gavin Hunt’s selections will continue to be based on merit rather than sentiment and popularity.
If it's not broken, there won’t be any need to fix it.
For all the years that Khune was first choice it was because he was performing and he now has to feel the pinch of the mess he created with his monumental mistakes.
Since the beginning of the 2018/19 season he has played just 32 out of the 90 games the club has been involved in.
This is difficult for any player’s career as many professionals spend sleepless nights in denial when the amber light is flashing.