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Khama Billiat: Player to 'Leave' Kaizer Chiefs

Rumours regarding Khama Billiat’s transfer are not new. While at Mamelodi Sundowns, many clubs were interested in his services, only to surf...

Rumours regarding Khama Billiat’s transfer are not new. While at Mamelodi Sundowns, many clubs were interested in his services, only to surface at Chiefs. 

In 2018, the media speculated that he turned down an R2 million offer from Sundowns. “We had lots of talks with Khama, myself and the player. We were very close to bringing him to the black and white. But we decided to protect the changing room more than anything else,” Orlando Pirates were quoted saying then.

By @Comic24Derick

“But the expense with regards to injuries, and certain other factors and for the profit that we thought we would get, we thought it did not make sense (to sign the player),” Pirates added. Earlier, NewsDay had reported that Billiat had ‘snubbed’ a $450 000 salary offer from Egyptian giants Zamalek, saying he is not keen on the move. His agent Mike Ngobeni revealed that the offer was snubbed.

“He is not keen to switch to Zamalek, even though it’s one of the biggest teams in Africa,” Ngobeni told NewsDay. Then, the player was on demand with Azerbaijan champions Qarabag and Swedish side Djurgårdens IF making inquiries.

“Tomorrow is the day for him to decide,” Ngobeni said. Billiat, who was in the country since leading the Warriors to the Cosafa Cup glory early this month, had said he will not rush into making a decision.
Khama Billiat
In a previous interview with The Herald, Billiat indicated he was leaving Tshwane giants a happy man following a successful spell that catapulted him to continental stardom. “I have got a couple of offers and we will see what’s best for Khama Billiat and where the future is going to be,” he said then.

“I don’t want to lie to myself, I have been happy (at Sundowns). It’s just me trying to challenge myself and see how far I can go. They have been good to me.” The player’s stint at Amakhosi has however been less glamorous.

Kaizer Chiefs are ready to let Khama Billiat go if the right offer comes along, media reports suggest. At 30, Khama might have surpassed his peak. According to the BBC, “It’s often said that footballers are at their peak between the ages of 27 and 29 and World Cup stats provide a startling confirmation. Historically, the perfect age to be a player in the World Cup is 27.5.”

And the Zimbabwean striker is out of this range. Another 2017 observation by ESPN noted that: “Players generally peak between the ages of 25-28, but there are differences by position. Wingers tend to peak and decline the earliest.”

“Wide attackers under the age of 23 play more minutes than U-23 players at other positions, but wide attackers over 30 are much rarer than strikers or centre-backs of an equally advanced age,” the article added.

Khama is not getting any younger, and injuries have decelerated him. “Players tend to get slower and generally lose athleticism as they age, but they also gain skills and know-how to balance that out.”

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