As the news of the future of goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse at Naturena made the rounds over the past few weeks and speculation abounded of a reunion between the last man of defence and his former coach Stuart Baxter at Pretoria-outfit, SuperSport United, many of the Glamour Boys' fans felt that this change would not be a massive loss for their beloved Black and Gold, but that might not be true...
Yesterday, as I sat glued to my desktop, I decided to take a deeper look into the stats of the goalkeepers at Kaizer Chiefs, especially between the first choice Itumeleng Khune and, of course, Pieterse, and I must say, the facts slapped me straight in the face.
Firstly, I decided to compare them based on the age of 25, and now you're reading this with a puzzled look on your face, thinking: is Khune 25? The answer is no, but I'm sure he wishes he was! Anyway, Reyaad is 25 years old this year, and back in the 2012/13 season Khune was the same age. From the stats, it can be seen that 25-year-old "Itu" played more games than the Johannesburg-born goalie... seems like Spider Kid peaked early in his career!
Fast-forward to the 2015/16 season that has just flown by and the stats spark some interest. Both goalkeepers played in 15 ABSA Premiership encounters each, and Pieterse comes out with a better record in terms of conceded goals and matches without conceding goals. Some might say that this was a stroke of good luck, but could that have been a glimpse of a great future prospect?
There is no doubt Khune is one of the best between the sticks in South Africa and the accolades he has achieved proves his ability, but it must be said that he did not have one of his best seasons in 2015/16. It raised a question in my mind: Is Khune becoming complacent? If so, Pieterse would have continued to be a good match-up for the No. 1 spot.
Looking at Reyaad, he has not played in as many games as Khune, but whenever he was put up to the task, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and occasionally saved his team from disappointment.
Personally, I feel that if Pieterse was given more game time, we would all be talking a different story, but, hey, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Could that treasure be Stuart Baxter's and SuperSport United's?
What is your take on Pieterse’s ability as a goalkeeper? Do you think Chiefs made a mistake in not keeping him?