THE BREAKDOWN: Will Billiat Be Ngoma’s New Manyama?
Can Aubrey Ngoma and Khama Billiat form a formidable partnership?
As Mamelodi Sundown’s interest for Aubrey Ngoma heats up, we analyse what the Cape Town City star has to offer for the club.
It was reported in Soccer Laduma issue number 1028, that Pitso Mosimane could view the winger as a replacement for the recently departed Keagan Dolly, who left Sundowns in the January transfer window this year. So, the question remains, what would he add to Sundowns’ already potent attack and can he form a formidable partnership with the 2015/16 Player of the Season, Khama Billiat.
Ngoma would offer Sundowns another creative outlet, having led Cape Town City with 2.18 shot assists per 90, although this was lower than Billiat’s 2.62 shot assists per 90 (second in the PSL). He led the PSL with 11 assists and his 0.46 assists per 90 minutes ranked third. Between his goals and assists, Ngoma and Billiat were tied for the PSL lead with 15 goal contributions.
Furthermore, he’ll provide more width for the team, as he ranked joint-third in the PSL with 5.1 open play crosses per 90 (alongside Anthony Laffor and Thabo Rakhale). He also ranked fifth in the division, completing 34.4% of his crosses from open play (minimum 2.0 open play crosses per 90).
However, as for Ngoma’s most notable and enviable attribute, he and Lebogang Manyama formed a strong partnership in the PSL this season, combining for 21 shots (with Ngoma assisting 11 Manyama shots and Manyama assisting 10 Ngoma shots) – the leading partnership in the team. Ngoma also provided the assist for five Manyama goals, with Manyama returning the favour once.
On the other hand, Khama Billiat was assisted on four occasions by Keagan Dolly in the title-winning campaign in 2015/16 and both of them managed a combined 16 goals and 20 assists through the course of an incredible campaign that also got the best out of Leonardo Castro, who scored 10 league goals and made four assists. Castro’s goals were assisted by Billiat on no fewer than nine occasions, with Dolly assisting the other. However, with Dolly out of the team in the second half of 2016/17, Castro failed to find the net even once, although he didn't see much action this season due to spells on the sidelines through injury.
It is clear for all to see that Mamelodi Sundowns’ famed ‘CBD’ trio has fallen apart, with only Billiat maintaining his form from the 2015/16 campaign and Dolly no longer on the books at the club. However, Pitso Mosimane will be desperate to resurrect a winning partnership again and, considering Ngoma’s incredible relationship with Lebogang Manyama, it could be an exchange of one for the other and fans will be licking their lips in anticipation of the potential link up between Ngoma and Manyama.
Do you think Aubrey Ngoma can form a similar relationship with Khama Billiat as he did with Lebogang Manyama?