Zimbabwe’s international football stars Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande have been placed among five players who are “fighting for their future” at South African Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs.
According to Anthony McLennan of Goal.com, Billiat and Katsande have been under-performing for the Amakhosi side who are struggling in the Dstv Premiership under coach Gavin Hunt and their future at the club is under some serious threat.
Amakhosi’s poor form cannot be glossed over — in 14 matches in all competitions this season, they’ve managed just three wins with a number of their players struggling to pick up their form and McLennan said Zimbabweans Billiat and Katsande need to shape up together with Bernard Parker, Lazarous Kambole and Happy Mashiane.
“For how long can Billiat live off past glories, has to be the question? For a player who was so hugely influential at Mamelodi Sundowns, it’s remarkable how much his goal-scoring form has dropped off over since arriving at Amakhosi – in 71 matches he’s scored only 13 goals and nine of those came in his first season at Naturena.
“On a big salary, the 30-year-old owes it to the club and fans to show he’s still got what it takes over the next few months.
“Apart from the above-mentioned five, there are numerous other Chiefs players who are struggling for form, ageing, or barely getting any game-time, and the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Daniel Akpeyi, Kgotso Moleko, Siphelele Ntshangase, Leonardo Castro, Kearyn Baccus and even Lebogang Manyama could potentially be playing for their Chiefs futures during the remainder of this season,” McLennan said.
On Katsande, McLennan observed: “Katsande has been a great servant to Chiefs over the years and is now in his 10th season at the club.
“The Zimbabwean is as committed as they come in the middle of the park but perhaps it’s time for the club to freshen that area of the team up and look to bring in players who can offer more in terms of creative output, as well as steel and grit.
“At 34-years-old, Katsande’s greatest attributes — his tenacity and energy, are starting to wane.”
As for Parker, he said: “The 34-year-old Parker has enjoyed an excellent career both for club and country and with 23 international goals is the third highest Bafana Bafana scorer.
“However, he’s scored just three goals and created only six assists in 79 matches in all competitions since the start of the 2018/ 2019 season. While some may argue that he brings experience and guile and is now playing a deeper role, Chiefs surely cannot afford to carry a player whose vital stats have dipped so badly.”
On Zambian Kambole, McLennan said: “The truth is that Chiefs are carrying far too many strikers who are not doing what they are paid to do; score goals. Kambole has scored only one goal in 21 matches since arriving last season and has missed some sitters as well.
“The Zambian has looked short on confidence and has never really looked up for the challenge of playing for South Africa’s biggest club.”
And speaking about Mashiane’s form, McLennan said:” It’s perhaps a little unfair to single out Mashiane, because he’s not the only left-back who has under-performed at the club — the likes of Yagan Sasman, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya and Philani Zulu have not covered themselves in glory either and it’s clearly a position that needs urgent addressing.
Sasman and Zulu have an advantage in that they are versatile and can also play at centre-back and left-wing respectively.
So it could be one of Ntiya-Ntiya or Mashiane who heads for the door, and it’s the latter, despite a promising start to his Chiefs career initially, who has played far less over the past two seasons.” — Goal.com.