Signed from Bidvest Wits in a big-money move to Chloorkop, all eyes were on the Bafana Bafana international to deliver from the word go.
One of the challenges he had, however, was that Sundowns did not have much of a pre-season because they were involved in the CAF Champions League, which they won a few months after the arrival of their marquee signing.
In his second season, though, Vilakazi was influential in the side, as he found form and, more importantly, consistency. 'Vila' bagged seven goals and four assists in 29 appearances for the Brazilians.
He combined well with the likes of Percy Tau, Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino, and did well whenever he was asked to play in the “false 9” position.
Former Sundowns defender Matthew Booth, who played with Vilakazi at Wits, was impressed with how the player came alive in his second season at the club.
“I have been very impressed with him. I had the pleasure of playing with him at Wits and always knew that he was going to be successful.
“I understood why he had a slow start at Sundowns. I mean when you move to a club like that, surrounded by talent, it’s difficult to stand out. I think it was a blessing in disguise that he got pushed into that false 9 position once [Leonardo] Castro left. Sundowns played a lot more effective football with him in that role.”
Booth continues: “He’s one of the best passers of the game and he’s got good vision. He is not as dynamic as other players like Tau, Zwane or Billiat. He reminds me of Surprise Moriri, the way he plays. I hope he grows from strength to strength.”