THE BREAKDOWN: Can Khune’s Understudy Succeed At Pirates?
Brilliant Khuzwayo's stats compared to Senzo Meyiwa's
Orlando Pirates have been linked with a move for Kaizer Chiefs’ Brilliant Khuzwayo, who may come in to compete with new signing Wayne Sandilands, but can the former AmaZulu man make the first-choice goalkeeper position his own, as was done by the late Senzo Meyiwa.
Click through the images above to see the detailed statistics for Brilliant Khuzwayo and Pirates’ goalkeepers from last season.
Following Meyiwa’s tragic passing in 2014, Pirates have struggled to find a goalkeeper that has served with the same level of distinction, with Siyabonga Mpontshane, Innocent Zikalala, Brighton Mhlongo and Felipe Ovono all being used interchangeably over the years, but failing to truly make the role their own.
However, as reported in Soccer Laduma issue number 1031, Pirates could follow up Thursday’s signing of the 33-year-old Wayne Sandilands with a move for Amakhosi’s second choice keeper. The question remains whether Khuzwayo serve with better consistency than Pirates’ men between the posts last season.
In 2016/17, the Buccaneers interchanged between Ovono (who has since departed the club), Mhlongo, Mabokgwane and, between April and May, Mpontshane. It then appeared that Mabokgwane had won over Kjell Jonevret, having started the last four games of the season.
In a direct comparison between Mhlongo and Mabokgwane, who saw the most playing time between the three keepers, with 14 and 10 starts between them, the numbers are very close. While Mhlongo averaged 3,38 saves per 90 minutes and Mabokgwane only managing 2.83, it was Mabokgwane that conceded less goals per 90.
In fact, Mpontshane conceded the least goals per 90 out of the three, but was also required to make fewer saves. With that said, the 31-year-old would have ranked second throughout the entire league in terms of both save percentage and goals conceded per 90 minutes if the minimum minutes required was 450 in the categories.
Khuzwayo, on the other hand, saw less playing time than any of his counterparts, but filled his role at the Glamour Boys well, having conceded less goals per 90 than Mhlongo and Mabokgwane, but he was called into action less than both. Although, his save ratio was 0.1% higher than Mhlongo’s and he even kept as many clean sheets as the 26-year-old in nine less games.
Naturally, Khuzwayo’s potential move may have been somewhat derailed by Wayne Sandilands’ signing, but joining Pirates would give him the chance to step out of Itumeleng Khune’s shadow at Chiefs and to put in a genuine fight for a starting role. Statistics show that he performed well when called upon and joining the Buccaneers will provide him the platform upon which he can prove himself capable of doing so on a regular, consistent basis.
Do you think Khuzwayo can succeed at Pirates?