Billiat attracts Ligue 1 interest

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Khama Billiat

KHAMA Billiat’s dream of moving to Europe could soon be realised with reports linking him to a possible move to French Ligue 1 side Lille.

HENRY MHARA
SPORTS REPORTER

Media reports from South Africa yesterday suggested that Lille’s chief scout Christophe Jeanot had been tracking Billiat for some time and was recently spotted in Zambia where the winger was on tour with Absa club Mamelodi Sundowns.

A South African football magazine Soccer Laduma yesterday reported: “In one of Sundowns’ club friendly games, against Zesco United of Zambia recently, Christophe Jeannot, who is a scout from Lille, was spotted watching Billiat in action.

Soccer Laduma has it on good authority that the talented Zimbabwean is closely monitored by the French side with a view to make a move for him.”

The 24-year-old was arguably the best player on the field in Zambia when Sundowns beat Zesco 2-0 in a friendly match.

The performance is believed to have impressed Jeannot and although Laduma reports that the Frenchman did not single Billiat out in his interviews, he spoke highly of the South African football.

Lille already has one South African in their books in young Lebo Mothiba.

This is not the first time Billiat has been linked with a move abroad.

The former Caps United and Ajax Cape Town speedster has had trials with Holland’s Ajax Amsterdam and Russian giants Lokomotiv Moscow before.

Billiat is entering the third of his five-year contract with Sundowns, a club he joined for a reported R10 million, but is currently believed to be worth in the region of R20 to 30 million.

A player, once described by Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand as “an agile and exciting player to watch, with great speed and ball control” after terrorising the United defence in a friendly match while still at Ajax Cape Town, has had a slow start to the current South African league due to an injury, but is back to his best and enjoying football again.

The player’s performances have improved greatly, with a tally of four goals in the seven matches he has featured in since his return from injury – a performance that has attracted interest from the European club.

Lille, which produced stars such as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, has a soft spot for African players and currently has six in their books including Nigeria number one goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.