The future of Kaizer Chiefs left back, Keegan Ritchie, appears to be unclear as the player's contract expires in June next year and as yet, there seems to be no word from Naturena that a new deal will be offered.
This means the 23-year-old will be able to sign a pre-contract with any interested club in January, as he'll be in the last six months of his current deal.
During his stay at Naturena, Ritchie has made just 25 league starts in three seasons for the club. In the last two seasons he has been more of an understudy to Tsepo Masilela.
Additionally, Soccer-Laduma's exclusive stats appear to show that defensively, the player lagged slightly behind Chiefs' other two left backs (Masilela and Jimmy Jambo) last season.
Ritchie’s average per game:
Balls won - 11.56
Successful tackles made - 2.67
Interceptions - 8.00
Jambo's average per game:
Balls won - 17.86
Successful tackles made - 2.5
Interceptions - 13.8
Masilela's average per game:
Balls won - 13.47
Successful tackles made - 2.33
Interceptions - 9.8
However, those in Ritchie's camp argue that he is a good reader of the game and that he is a competent defender adept at closing an attacking player's space. Nonetheless, there have been questions raised about the 23-year-old's perceived lack of pace against some of the PSL's lightning fast wingers.
With that said, in the limited starts he has had for the club he has impressed and has won a few Man of the Match awards along the way.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether or not Chiefs' management will choose to extend his stay in the remaining few months before the January transfer window re-opens. The emergence of 19-year-old left back, Simphiwe Mtsweni, could also add some doubt that Ritchie's deal will be extended.
The Siya crew will continue to monitor developments.