Billiat’s contract with the former African champions is set to expire at the end of this month, while coach Pitso Mosimane has recently admitted that there’s huge interest from Europe in Tau and the player could leave sooner rather than later.
Sundowns, of course, have arguably the best squad in the country and can call on any of their stars to replace these two players, but you’d just have to look at the statistics from the past season to see how much Sundowns would miss them if they were to both leave.
Tau finished the season with 13 goals and 17 assists in all competitions and Billiat had nine goals and eight assists, despite spending most of the campaign nursing injuries.
There’s the likes of Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Gaston Sirino, Aubrey Ngoma and Jeremy Brockie to call on, but can they be as influential?
KickOff.com spoke to a few of Sundowns’ former players to find out how the club will cope if they lose both players before the start of next season.
Matthew Booth (former Sundowns defender)
I think they can afford to lose them because they can afford to bring in the quality, especially if they get cash for Tau, then I am sure they will go on a spending spree. They have already signed Toni Silva. I don’t know much about him, but I know he is an ex-Liverpool player and he tends to play from the right wing. With his signing, Pitso was already looking at a replacement for Billiat.
If Billiat goes overseas, then I understand. But if they lose him to Chiefs or Pirates, then I don’t understand the thinking because surely Sundowns would be able to dip their hands in their pockets and keep him. It would be great for Tau to go overseas. He is ready.
Fabian McCarthy (former Sundowns defender)
Obviously losing your two best players means it’s going to take time to find another two with that combination again. With Khama leaving, I am looking at Sirino to replace him. There’s also 'Mshishi' [Zwane] and I think Pitso will look at using Brockie more. He is going to find a way to make use of a combination between Brockie, Vilakazi, Mshishi and Sirino. I feel it’s time for Tau to go overseas because he has been outstanding and consistent. If you have to lose Khama and Tau, then lose them to overseas teams.
John Tlale (former Sundowns goalkeeper)
I think it’s going to affect them a lot, simply because those are two experienced players who have done well at Sundowns. I think getting replacements will be difficult because whoever comes in still has to gel with the team. Brockie has not scored, but that does not make him a bad player. It’s going to take time for him, which was the same with Vilakazi. But I know Sundowns is a team that always buys experienced and quality players.