THE sports editor of one of South Africa’s leading daily newspaper has used his blog to describe Kaizer Chiefs’ signing of Khama Billiat as a “stroke of genius” as the Zimbabwe international forward continues to hog the limelight in the Supa Diski.
The 28-year-old forward has had a flying start to life at Amakhosi after his switch from champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Khama Billiat showed again this weekend why he is probably the most valuable player in the whole of the Premier Soccer League,” the Sports Editor of The Citizen wrote on his blog this week.
“Just when Kaizer Chiefs needed a lift, needed someone to raise their spirits after a glum start to the season, the Zimbabwean was there to show his class and help Amakhosi pick up a first league victory of the season.
“I have criticised Billiat before for not taking an overseas move when he left Sundowns at the end of last season, after his contract ran out.
“I do feel he is talented enough to make it in some of Europe’s leagues and think he would have benefited more from the challenge than staying in the ABSA Premiership.
“However, Chiefs are real beneficiaries of his decision and in him and Lebogang Manyama, they really do have two marquee signings to fill their fans with joy in this 2018 /19 season.
“Up until Saturday, of course, the results had not provided much joy, bar one MTN8 quarter-final victory over Free State Stars.
“There were a whole bunch of draws, with Giovanni Solinas’ commitment to attack badly shown up in a 2-2 stalemate with Bloemfontein Celtic.
“In Manyama and Billiat, Solinas certainly has the players to implement this attacking philosophy and the game against City, where the pair played together for the first time, showed plenty of promise.”
The Zimbabwean is being hailed for his seemingly perfect timing.
“Billiat just has that knack of getting into the right place inside the box, as he proved with Chiefs’ third goal, a real poacher’s effort.
“If Chiefs can go on a run, however, and part of that will be sorting out their leaky defence, as well as keeping the attacking momentum going, it will be good for the league.
“A strong Chiefs and Orlando Pirates always somehow make South African football that bit better to watch.”
Solinas has already hailed Billiat as the best player in the South African Premiership and believes he should be playing in a European league.
“For me, he is an amazing player,” the Italian coach told The Star newspaper.
“A top player. In my opinion, and I don’t want this to be misunderstood as disrespect for other players, he is the best player in the league, the best striker.
“Billiat, in my opinion, can play in Europe without a problem. This guy is not for this league. He can perform very well in Europe and comfortably.”
Apparently, Solinas considers it a privilege that he has been given the chance to manage such a precocious talent like the Zimbabwean forward.
“It’s an honour. This player makes the difference,” Solinas said.
“I am very happy that I have this player in my squad and I am glad I was asked the question so that I can talk about him.”
The Italian has been singing the same song for weeks now and doesn’t see any reason to change his views that there is no footballer, in the South African Premiership, who is as good as Billiat.
“Khama is the best player in the PSL in my opinion and (Leonardo) Castro as well. I like both of them,” Solinas told SuperSport TV after the game.
“For me‚ Billiat is an amazing player‚ a top player.
“In my opinion‚ with no disrespect to other players from other clubs‚ Billiat is the best player in the league.
“The best striker. Billiat in my opinion can play in Europe without a problem. This guy is not for this league.
“He could perform in Europe very well‚ comfortably.
“Billiat and Castro, it’s a privilege and an honour for me to coach them.
“And these players make the difference. So I am very happy that I have these players in my squad.”
The Zimbabwean has been the stand-out player in the South African Premiership this season, winning the man-of-the-match award in most of the matches he has played in.