Even with his six goals from five league outings already this term, the jury is still out on whether new Kaizer Chiefs striker Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana is the real deal or another flop.
Bimenyimana is the talk of the town after becoming the first player in the Premier Soccer League to score a hat-trick of penalties in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Stellenbosch in the Mother City. The lanky Burundian has only scored twice from open play with four of his other goals coming from the spot.
Bimenyimana is gradually endearing himself to the Amakhosi faithful. However, some, given his low conversion rate from open play, are not yet convinced he’s the kind of striker who can help the club challenge for honours. Others have labelled the Chiefs striker as a mere “penalty merchant”.
That Chiefs have had flops with foreign strikers in recent seasons is also playing a role in others toning down their hopes on Bimenyimana, who boasts four goals from 17 appearances for his national team Burundi. After the Stellies win, Amakhosi coach Arthur Zwane described Bimenyimana as a “skilful” player, emphasising his faith in the 28-year-old. Zambian Lewis Macha and Gustavo Paez from Venezuela are some of the prime examples of Chiefs’ flops as far as foreign strikers are concerned in recent years.
Retired Chiefs midfielder Frank Makua believes it is too early to come to the conclusion about Bimenyimana’s quality or lack thereof. Even so, Makua sounded impressed with what he’s seen from the Burundian international thus far.
“You can’t tell whether he’s a really good striker because he hasn’t played many games. You can’t judge a player based on five, six games. Let him play another 10 games [on top of the six he’s played across the league and the MTN8]. However, I like his movement off the ball and the way he passes the ball to his teammates. He is always looking to set-up Ashley du Preez,” Makua said.