Kaizer Chiefs central midfielder Willard Katsande believes that Khama Billiat could just be the tonic they need to win the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.
The Zimbabwe international along with Buya Msuthu left-back Letlhogonolo Mirwa and Malagasy midfielder Andriamirado Andrianarimanana were announced as Amakhosi's new signings on Friday.
Billiat joins countrymen Willard Katsande and Teenage Hadebe at the Naturena-based side ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Katsande stated that Chiefs were lacking a player of Billiat’s quality when speaking to The Herald, who also reported that Billiat turned down Egyptian giants Zamalek.
The White Knights are said to have tabled their bid with an annual salary of $450 000 (R6 million) this week, but the offer fell below the $700 000 (R9,4 million) that the player demanded.
“It’s massive addition to us. We really wanted someone who can have effect on our matches. For me, it is also a good feeling whereby I know how he plays, all we need to do is to help him settle in at the club," Katsande said.
Billiat, who turns 28 in August 2018, signed a three-year deal with Chiefs, but Katsande believes that he can still go abroad. He was linked with overseas clubs such as Romanian side Steaua Bucharest, Djurgarden IF of Sweden and Azerbaijan’s Qarabag.
“His European chances are not yet over. He can still go after helping us win the league. Chiefs won’t hold on to players who want to go overseas,’’ Katsande concluded.
Billiat was groomed at Aces Youth Academy in his home country along with his Zimbabwe team-mate Knowledge Musona. The Academy director Nigel Munyati stated that they had hoped Billiat would follow in the footsteps of new Anderlecht striker Musona and play in Europe.
“We had high hopes for Khama that by now he should, at least be playing for one of the clubs in Europe. He has made his decision and we respect it although I don’t think he will get any better by staying in South Africa," Munyati told the publication.
“Khama is a phenomenal player and I think he needs to be surrounded by quality players to realise his maximum potential of which I doubt he gets that in South Africa. There is still a window of opportunity for Europe, though, if he can do that in the next 24 months. But it will be difficult for him to get a good team," he continued.
“But all that said, it is quite interesting to see the excitement with Kaizer Chiefs getting Billiat now because we offered them both Khama and Knowledge Musona in 2010 and they took only Knowledge. Now the same team is coming for him eight years later,” Munyati concluded.
Billiat, who joined Sundowns from PSL side Ajax Cape Town in 2013, enjoyed a lot of success with the Brazilians. He won three PSL titles and plus the Nedbank Cup, and the Telkom Knockout. He also won the 2016 Caf Champions League and 2017 Caf Super League with Sundowns.