Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs could run the risk of losing six key players for free when the January transfer window opens.
ThisIsFootball.Africa takes a look at the players who could possibly be headed for the exit door when the curtain comes down on the season currently underway. With their contracts coming to an end on 30 June 2023, these players, their agents and Chiefs are no doubt underway in negotiations with the players that the club wants to keep. However with regard to the players that Chiefs are not keen on holding onto, the silence could be deafening and possibly devastating.
6. Phathutshedzo Nange
Since making his move from Stellenbosch FC, Nange has gone from being an instrumental part of Chiefs last season to warming the bench regularly under Arthur Zwane.
The 30-year-old has of late been linked with a potential swap deal back to his former side with Bafana Bafana midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa possibly moving in the opposite direction. Nange has also only played a total of 66 minutes this season so far and that clearly indicates that he is not in coach Arthur Zwane’s first team plans
5. Eric Mathoho
The veteran Chiefs centre-back has clocked just a single minute of playing time under his belt this season and looks set to depart the Naturena-based outfit after over a decade at the club. At his age Mathoho clearly needs to be in search of regular game time.
“Tower” has fallen further behind the pecking order at Amakhosi to the likes of Zitha Kwinika, Siyabonga Ngezana, Njabulo Ngcobo, and Edmilson Dove following Zwane’s promotion to the head coach position at the beginning of the 2022/23 DStv Premiership campaign.
Swallows FC was thought to be keen on the Limpopo-born defender when the current season got underway, but the move never materialized, and it now looks more likely that Chiefs will allow his contract to run down till the end of June 2023.
4. S’fiso Hlanti
The former Maswaiswai man has made the left-back position his own this term with a string of fine performances which means the club could still opt to trigger the one-year option in his current contract which runs out in 2023. But until the ink is dry on a new deal, Hlanti still has it in his right to start talking to other clubs as early as next month.
Hlanti, 32, has featured in eight of the club’s 13 PSL matches this season and would be a huge loss should the club part ways with him.
3. Khama Billiat
Billiat has been under immense pressure to replicate the form he showed at Mamelodi Sundowns but is now one of the players at risk of leaving Naturena.
Now 32 and one of Amakhosi’s top earners, Billiat has found the back of the net just three times in 11 outings across all competitions this term and is likely to see his spell come to an end at Amakhosi.
2. Itumeleng Khune
Now in his 18th season with Amakhosi since joining the development ranks back in 2004, the 35-year-old veteran shot-stopper is still viewed as an integral member of the team and could still see his contract extended on a short-term note given his importance to the team and club’s supporters.
The Ventersdorp-born man was in excellent form for Chiefs before being sidelined by a hamstring injury in their 3-1 win over Stellenbosch FC.
There have simultaneously been talks that Khune could join the club’s goalkeeping department beyond his playing days and join goalkeeper coach Aubrey Mathibe in nurturing the club’s young and upcoming goalkeepers. With 318 minutes played this season, Khune is no longer the force he once was, but we cant see Chiefs letting a player who is literally still the face of the club go.
1. Njabulo Blom
Blom’s contractual situation has been a topic on every Chiefs supporter’s lips. The supporters have shown their displeasure on how the club has dragged its feet in offering the defensive midfielder a new long-term contract with Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates said to be closely monitoring the situation.
The 22-year-old has started 11 of Chiefs’ 13 DStv Premiership matches this term and has without a doubt been their best player.
News filtering through from within the Naturena corridors is that Chiefs have reportedly agreed on a new deal, in principle worth millions, with the player’s camp to see him extend his stay for a further three years.
At this point, only time will tell which players Chiefs are still willing to keep for the foreseeable future, and which ones will be deemed surplus to requirements.