The Nigerian stopper may have excelled against Wydad Casablanca, but the Kaizer Chiefs favorite still has many admirers
Itumeleng Khune can once again prove he is Africa’s best goalkeeper, but just needs the support of Kaizer Chiefs as he nears the end of his contract, according to the former Pirates keeper from Orlando, Fatau Dauda.
Khune was absent again on Saturday, Nigerian Daniel Akpeyi being preferred ahead of him in the absence of Bruce Bvuma.
This has been interpreted as yet another signal that Khune’s days at the Chiefs are numbered, with the legendary stopper’s contract set to expire at the end of June.
According to his former rival at Pirates – ex-Ghana No.1 Fatau Dauda – however, it is too early for Amakhosi to turn his back on his longtime servant.
“I think he’s still number one in Africa,” Dauda said Goal . “He’s played for the Kaizer Chiefs since he was full-time, and he’s still playing, but they have to support him to play.
“He still has football in him,” he added. “Goalkeepers, the more we play the more we get better, and he’s a strong guy, he won’t listen to criticism.
“He does what he wants to do, what he loves to do, and I wish him good luck with his team,” Dauda continued. “He can keep doing it and will make the fans happy. “
Akpeyi responded to the Chiefs’ show of faith to deliver an outstanding performance against Wydad as progress to the Caf Champions League final was assured, further suggesting the Glamor Boys are well placed between the sticks for go forward.
For Dauda, however, the 34-year-old is too good to be dismissed when he still has so much to offer, while he is unlikely to be fazed by the criticisms that have accompanied a difficult season.
“Khune, you can believe it, he’s a good goalkeeper,” Dauda continued. “On the continent, he’s a very good goalkeeper.
“I watched the way people criticize him, but he’s always been strong, he’s still playing.
“When I was in South Africa, I met him a lot,” he continued. “He’s got character and he’s still a team player.
One factor that may work in Spiderkid’s favor is the return of Stuart Baxter, who has enjoyed such success alongside stopper Bafana during time together at Chiefs.
For Dauda, it’s not too late for an old dog to learn new tricks, and he believes Khune can adapt to the demands of chefs in the future, without letting age affect his quality.
“As a player, if you want to do well you have to learn,” concluded the man from Legon Cities. “Even if you play well, you have to learn from others and then you get better.
“You know how Khune is in his preparation, he’s the best in Africa.”