THE BREAKDOWN: Does Khumalo Need To Leave Chiefs?
Sibusiso Khumalo's Future At Kaizer Chiefs Up In The Air
Kaizer Chiefs defender, Sibusiso Khumalo has fallen down the pecking order in Steve Komphela’s first team plans, following the signing of Philani Zulu. So, we now take a look at whether he can force his way back into the first team setup or if he should reconsider his future and move on.
Click through the images above to see Sibusiso Khumalo’s detailed statistics for the 2016/17 season.
In Soccer Laduma issue number 1039 the Siya crew reported that Chiefs could be looking to reached a mutual agreement to terminate Khumalo’s contract, with the player having been left out of both of their opening two league games of the season and apparently surplus to requirements. However, looking at the statistics, is it possible for Khumalo to force his way back into the team?
Looking first at his work in defence, Khumalo makes fewer blocks per 90 minutes (2.05) compared to Tsepo Masilela’s and Zulu’s 2.16 and 2.4 respectively. He does, however, make 4.4 more clearances per 90 minutes than Masilela and almost 10 more per 90 than Zulu.
In terms of tackling, Zulu is the best of the three, making four per 90. However, it’s Masilela that comes out on top out of the three in terms of duels won (2.76 per 90). Khumalo can boast, however, that he won more balls per 90 minutes in the league last season than his teammates (13.9).
As a defender, these attributes are vital and can make a real difference in terms of the result. Each player has his respective strengths and weaknesses, but Khumalo does seem to be found wanting in comparison to Masilela and Zulu.
Another perspective that one could use to approach Khumalo’s argument is by looking at his numbers going forward. After all, the modern-day fullback is required to make runs forward and aid his team in attack as well as at the back.
Khumalo took more touches and made more passes per 90 minutes last season (59.8 and 44.7 respectively) than Zulu (43.6 and 33.6) last season, but was behind Masilela in this regard (64.8 and 56.6), and his passing accuracy of 75.7% was below both of them.
Both he and Zulu completed exactly half of their long balls last season, but Khumalo’s real strength is his crosses. He made more than both Masilela and Zulu combined, but also found his mark on relatively fewer occasions. Zulu, who played as a midfielder for the majority of last season made more shot assists than his teammates combined, setting up shots for his Maritzburg United teammates on 1.2 occasions per 90.
In summary, Khumalo appears to be the more confident crosser of the three and crossing is a vital part of a left back’s game, but he isn’t as helpful in the contribution towards build-up play that Chiefs require, as they held the majority of possession last season. He’s also not creating chances in the way that Zulu was able to.
Therefore, in summary, Khumalo does have quality as a player, but he seems to be behind both Masilela and Zulu in many respects, which means that he is likely to find an uphill battle when it comes to the battle for time on the pitch this season. It is up to him, however, to decide whether or not he should wait patiently for his chance or to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Do you think Khumalo should agree to a mutual termination of his contract?