Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Zimbabwe on the 15 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon.
CAPE TOWN – Former Bayern Munich and Ghana international defender Samuel Kuffour says Mamelodi Sundowns winger Khama Billiat will surely find himself playing in Europe soon.
It’s been Billiat’s club team-mate, Keagan Dolly, who has been grabbing headlines over a possible move to Europe, with French side Montpellier and Greek team Olympiakos both reportedly interested.
In the latest development in the Dolly situation, Montpellier are said to be offering Downs the amount stipulated in the buyout clause of the playmaker’s contract (1.7-million Euros, around R24 million).
The 2012 French champions are believed to be willing to pay in full upfront, with no conditions attached and the possibility of the transfer fee increasing once the Bafana midfielder plays a certain number of games in Ligue 1.
Manchester City have also been linked to the former Ajax Cape Town man.
But with the English club appearing to be offering no more than an unconfirmed trial, added to the difficulties in obtaining a work permit in England, it appears that City are not an option.
However, it’s been 2015/ 16 PSL Player of the Season Billiat who has been Sundowns’ real star over the last 18-months – indeed since joining from Ajax Cape Town in 2013, he has got better and better, adding a clinical goal-scoring edge to the undoubted skill and pace his game possesses.
Not only has the wonderfully-gifted 26-year-old Billiat terrorised PSL defences, but he also played a major role in helping Sundowns win the CAF Champions League and was voted only behind team-mate and Ugandan international keeper Denis Onyango on CAF’s best-player-based-in-Africa list.
Currently in Gabon at the 2017 African Cup of Nations with Zimbabwe, Billiat did his chances of getting scouted no harm with an outstanding display in Sunday night’s 2-2 draw with Algeria.
“I think Billiat is one the best African talents I have seen in a long time. This guy can be on another level because he has everything. I think you have to move him to Europe,” Kuffour said during his post-match analysis.
“It would be very disappointing for Africa not to see him playing here. But in terms of his career and what he can do at 26 years, you have to move him to Europe.”
Kuffour, a European Champions League winner with Bayern, offered further praise for the diminutive Sundowns attacker:
“He is amazing to watch. For me being a defender it would be very difficult to play against this boy. He is small and you don’t know what he is going to do. He is so quick with the ball, he has everything. For me I would love to see him go outside [overseas] for his future.”
Next up for Zimbabwe are Senegal and Tunisia, offering more chances for Billiat to impress the international audience.
Masandawana boss Patrice Motsepe admitted that some of the club’s recent signings had been bought as potential backup should the likes of Dolly, Billiat or Leonardo Castro depart.
Billiat has in the past made no secret of his desire to further his career in Europe, and having claimed nearly all there is to win at club level on the continent, he must surely be thinking about new challenges while moving into the prime of his career.
He was linked with Belgium Pro League teams Club Brugge and KV Oostende in November last year, with the asking price speculated to be in the R30-million region.