Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
WARRIORS star Khama Billiat may not be in his tantalising best for ABSA South African Premiership football leaders Kaizer Chiefs, but his value continues to take giant leaps, with the talismanic forward now worth 2 million euros (US$2,3 million).
Billiat has featured in 12 of Amakhosi’s league games this season, scoring once and providing a single assist.
Despite the poor return for a player of Billiat’s calibre, the Zimbabwean still tops the list of the most valuable player at a club which is on a roll in one of the most competitive leagues on the continent.
Billiat, who has missed the Glamour Boys’ last three games due to injury, is 800 000 euros more valuable than goalkeeper and captain Itumaleng Khune, who is the team’s second most valuable player, according to statistics revealed by transfermarkt.com yesterday.
Although Billiat hasn’t really attracted interest in Europe, he remains one of the best players plying their trade on the continent.
He was at the peak of his prowess in 2016 when he helped South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns to the league and CAF Champions League double.
Billiat was duly voted the Players’ Player, Midfielder and Best Player of the Year in South Africa that year.
He was unfortunate to settle for second place for the African Player of the Year for players playing in Africa, which was won by his then teammate, Dennis Onyango of Uganda.
Billiat made headlines when he crossed to Chiefs in 2018 where he was expected to lead the team back to the South African football folklore. He has proven to be a cog, and with Kaizer Chiefs on top of the standings and looking unstoppable, Billiat could become the first Zimbabwean player to win the South African league title with both Chiefs and Sundowns.
At 29 years, one would have expected Billiat’s value to fall, but the respected transfermarkt.com still rates him highly.
Billiat’s compatriot, Willard Katsande, who is in top form at Naturena, is the fifth most valued player along with Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Katsande, who has featured for the Glamour Boys in 14 matches this season, is valued at 650 000 euros, which is equivalent to R10,4 million.
The 34-year-old, who told The Herald this week that he still has three or so years in top-flight football, is one of the reasons why Chiefs are in cruise mode.
Forming a formidable combination with George Maluleka in the middle of the park, the Mutoko-born star has won several crucial duels as well as interceptions.
Maluleka himself is third on the team’s most valuable list on 850 000 euros together with Daniel Cardoso.