The silly season is fully underway, as club “think tanks” seek to delve into the transfer market and attempt to strengthen their teams going into the new season, while also ensuring that they get the best possible value for money deals in a very competitive and largely inflated global transfer market. We at GSV have taken it upon ourselves to give you a comprehensive breakdown of some transfer deals in our Grading The Deal supplement, an exclusive and comprehensive guide catered towards the purists who seek to know more than the average fan regarding the wheeling’s and dealings in football today. Enjoy!
When a nation is blessed with a world-class talent in a key position, particularly in goals, the players beneath him in the pecking order often get looked at as being of a marginally inferior class, regardless of their own merits. The rise of Itumeleng Khune seemed to overshadow the growth of other very good goalkeepers in his generation; the late Senzo Meyiwa, Ronwen Williams and Darren Keet have all had to play 2nd fiddle to SpiderKid over the last decade at different international levels.
Darren Keet looked to have escaped Itu’s shadow when he emerged as a top level player for BidVest Wits during his 1st stint at the club, earning him a move to KV Kortrijk in Belgium on a 4 year contract in June of 2011 for an estimated R 2m, where Popeye took some time acclimatising to life in a new country in his maiden season abroad, playing in the cup games and eventually breaking through as a regular in the latter stages of the 2011/12 Jupiler Pro League Playoff. The 2012/13 season saw Keet earning a role as a starter between the sticks for his club side, becoming the undisputed number 1 and only relinquishing his role for cup games, due to player rotation; Keet established himself as one of the premier stoppers in Belgium, and was awarded with the KV Kortrijk Player Of The Season Award for his impressive displays in what was just his 1st full season as a regular for the club. Often times in recent seasons, the numbers have suggested that Darren Keet has been the most consistent South African goalkeeper, in terms of performance and fitness, yet he hasn’t received the opportunities to prove his merit over a sustainable period for the national team, something that could be subject to change with a successful homecoming.
Returning home, to a club and an area he is familiar with, may be a masterstroke for Darren Keet and BidVest Wits as an organisation; the opportunity to complete against his main international rival, in Itu Khune, while also playing with an ambitious young side that will be in need of more leadership to fill the void left by Sibusiso Vilakazi, will create a perfect platform for Keet’s talents to shine through. I am personally not a fan of players appearing to take the easy way out by returning home, when they had the ability and opportunities to continue building a good career in Europe, but Darren Keet has actually enhanced his career chances by returning home to cement his reputation and fight for his Bafana jersey; Keet has returned home while he still has age on his side, at 26 Darren is very young for a goalkeeper, a good two seasons for Wits, and a spell as Bafana’s No: 1, would see his stock rise even further and open more doors abroad.
DoB: August 5th, 1989 (26)
PoB: Cape Town; Western Cape
Nationality: South African
Caps & Goals: Bafana Bafana, 4 Caps | u/23, 3 Caps | u/20, 7 Caps
Height: 1, 83m
Preferred Foot: Left
Club: BidVest Wits Football Club
Former Club/s: Vasco Da Gama (2007-2008) | BidVest Wits (2008-2011) | KV Kortrijk (2011-2016)
Development Nest/s: Ajax Cape Town Youth Development | Edgemead | Bothasig AFC
2015/16 Club Stats: 30 Games | 35 Goals Conceded | 10 Clean Sheets
Total Career Stats: 196 Games | 248 Goals Conceded | 60 Clean Sheets
GSV Deal Grader: Moeneeb Josephs from Ajax Cape Town to BidVest Wits on July 1st, 2006 (4/5)
Darren Keet has been a first teamer since the age of 18, the experience he has garnered as a player at the elite level has allowed him to develop well over the years; while he is far from the polished article as a goalkeeper, Keet is primed to enter his peak years, as a footballer, having built a solid foundation to truly excel at the elite level for the next decade. BidVest Wits have been accused of bringing in experienced elite level performers when they are past their prime, often demanding even more from their younger players, and creating a lack of sustainable balance within the side, something that may be hampering the success they have seemed to be on the cusp of for the last 3 seasons; the arrival of Darren Keet could herald a welcomed change in personnel recruiting policy and team mentality, as Wits seek to fulfil the potential they have shown over the past couple of seasons, and go onto win some major silverware in the coming season or two. Darren has gambled on himself as a free-agent, having turned down a new deal at KV Kortrijk in an attempt to take his career onto the next plateau, the motivation of proving any doubters wrong should inspire some great performances for The Students.
South African shot stoppers, and African keepers in general, aren’t renowned for their height, something that has historically negatively affected our goalkeepers in the past when they were being considered by European clubs and scouts. Standing at 1, 83 meters, Darren Keet is a tad bit taller than the average keeper from the Mother Land; aerial ability is one standout trait in his game, making him a dominant force when it comes to commanding his box, Keet is blessed with great organisational skills that will be an asset in a side with more young players than the average local team. Any side looking to compete for major honours requires a reliable goalkeeper; Darren Keet provides continuity to the backline, as Moeneeb Josephs nears the end of his career at 36, Keet’s ability to lead by example will allow him to quickly establish himself as an asset for his club and take on that much needed leadership mantle.
The one chink in Darren Keet’s armour, despite his great development over the years, has been his inability to regularly keep clean-sheets, even when he is helping his side win more games than they lose or draw; whether its attributed to a lack of concentration during spells in games, or another weakness in his game, Keet will hope his gaffer takes a page out of the Claudio Ranieri book of management by buying pizza for the squad after every clean-sheet, to incentivise his teammates to protect him as well as possible. Darren Keet will also have to work on his positional play, if he is to refrain from pricking the ball out of his own net too often, in a league where players are inclined to shoot from range with a higher degree of frequency and some accuracy at times; Keet has all the tools to excel as an elite keeper in the ABSA Premiership, but his weaknesses will have to be worked on if he is to break through his current plateau as a player.