'Khama has Cristiano's touch, but…'

HARARE - In a big endorsement of his talent, Ajax Cape Town’s Zimbabwean ace Khama Billiat has been likened to Real Madrid maestro Cristiano Ronaldo, albeit in a thinly-disgusted criticism of the Warriors starlet by a respected South African football journalist.

Writing for football411.com, renowned journalist Anthony McLennan lavishes Billiat with praise and at the same time pours his frustration on the Zimbabwean.

“Ajax Cape Town's Khama Billiat is a fantastic talent, he can do it all, with one crucial exception: his composure in and around the box is generally very poor,” McLennan opened his special feature on Billiat.

The writer also draws attention to Billiat’s amazing drawbacks, comparing them with those of the great Ronaldo.  

 “Ajax coach Jan Versleijen has recently been trying to give fellow winger Tafadzwa Rusike a chance to stake his claim in the team, but the youngster has been poor.

 “When introduced, Billiat has come on and changed games - his pace is electrifying; despite his small frame, the Zimbabwean eats up the ground.

 His running angles are another asset - he may seem to be in a fairly harmless position out wide, but with a great burst of pace and a clever sense of direction, he's suddenly drifted past a defender and into the box, finding himself bearing down on the keeper within the blink of an eye.

 Billiat's got a great first touch, and bags of skill; he's got some wonderful Ronaldo-like pull backs in his repertoire,” he wrote.

 “He's also equally comfortable on both feet; these days he takes corner kicks with either foot, something not many players in the world can do.

 “There is however, unfortunately, a 'BUT' when it comes to singing Billiat's praises.

“ Versleijen's view of Billiat's performance against Mamelodi Sundowns sums up perfectly what is good, and what is not so good, about the player. ‘He comes in an creates straight away opportunities’, said the Dutchman. ‘I think he can get even more out of the game. If he has a little bit more vision around him, we could have decided the game in the second half [against Sundowns].’”

McLennan continued with his examination of Billiat.

“Billiat may be Zimbabwean, but his problem is very much typical of a South African player: bags of skill and ability, but a lack of application, and absence of confidence up front, and poor decision making ability.

“So where does this leave the player, and the club, for whom Billiat is arguably their most naturally talented player, someone who can on his day win a match.

“It's in a player's development years where composure and the mental side of the game should be taught.

“The best bet right now would be to allow the player to keep on enjoying his game, and not to put too much pressure on him to score goals.

 “He was used as a makeshift striker earlier this season, perhaps not the best move - at least out on the wing, where he is playing now, he can continue to set up chances for team-mates while he works on his finishing.”

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