The 27-year-old’s acquisition has been welcomed by Chiefs fans after a rather underwhelming past few seasons.
Goal looks at just how the Zimbabwe international will fit into Amakhosi’s plans.
While Chiefs are yet to name a new coach at the helm, fans and pundits will look at Billiat’s contribution and realise that the club not only captured an ace in terms of goalscoring, but also a player who is rather versatile in the final third.
There are many ways that Billiat can be utilised, but perhaps his best position is as a traditional No.10. Playing just behind the striker allows Billiat to use his pace and skill effectively and with him reuniting with another former Sundowns star in striker Leonardo Castro, the two could rediscover the form which saw them take the league by storm a few seasons ago.
Billiat is also someone who enjoys having the ball at his feet and making him the link between the more deep lying midfielders and the striker could see him thrive. This could be done using a more unconventional 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formation.
However, another option that could also be used is the ‘false nine’ role. This is another position which Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane used from time to time, and while Billiat did not have the physicality of a typical No.9, with this tactic he was able to drop into pockets and be more creative.
Perhaps in places like Africa where Chiefs will return to fight it out in the Caf Confederation Cup, this could be useful. Chiefs can do this as part of a regular 4-3-3 formation with the wingers inverting.
Lastly, a position which Billiat is also not too unfamiliar with and can be used if need be, is the role of winger. This is a position which Billiat played, especially in his earlier years with Ajax Cape Town and also at times for Sundowns.
Playing as a winger predominantly on the left, allows Billiat to use his creativity and pace, but Chiefs would then have to sacrifice the 27-year-old’s goal threat to a large extent.
But while Billiat is unlikely to be used in this role, understanding that any coach who takes over has this luxury should be seen as a blessing.
Nonetheless, the most important thing is to keep Billiat fit. For all of the Zimbabwean’s success, he has proven to be injury prone over the years. Billiat only played 16 games in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) last season but scored eight goals, which is an impressive 50% return.
Chiefs fans though, will hope that Billiat does not take as long as Castro to find his feet at Naturena, and if he does hit the ground running, he has all the makings of becoming a legend at the club.