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New Sundowns signing Gaston Sirino has the qualities of Khama Billiat, says Pitso Mosimane

09:06 WAT 18/01/2018
Pitso Mosimane addresses the media
Masandawana have already begun planning for life without their Zimbabwean talisman

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has hinted that new South American signing Gaston Sirino has been roped in as a replacement for the outgoing Khama Billiat.

The 26-year-old may be a relatively unknown entity to South African football, but he is not unknown to Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who revealed that he travelled to Bolivia to watch the attacker in action.

Sirino most notably scored 18 goals in 41 appearances for his former club Bolivar over the duration of the last campaign, which should have every Sundowns fan licking their lips at the prospect of having the Uruguayan-born player in their attack.  

“I did travel. I saw him play in two games. And what I saw‚ I was happy with‚” Mosimane said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Whether it’s going to be the same in South Africa I cannot guarantee,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Mosimane has given a strong indication that the club are planning for a future without Billiat. The Zimbabwe international was most recently linked with a move to Azerbaijan outfit Qarabag, and a move to Europe remains likely despite other offers from Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs also believed to be on the table.

“Sirino is the kind of player who has the qualities of a Khama Billiat‚ of a Percy Tau or Aubrey Ngoma‚” Mosimane said.

“I think the body size will tell you that he’s not a No. 9. He’s got speed. He’s an intelligent player. So that’s why we brought him here. The ‘CBD’ is gone or is going – maybe there’s one left (Billiat),” he added.

“But we have to make sure that Sundowns stay on top. Sundowns are a top club. The CBD did not play in the past year and Sundowns are still on top of the log and playing convincing football," Mosimane explained.

“So Sirino is part of a future. The supporters play with the names and probably we will have another combination. But the good thing is we did these signings very quickly," he continued.

“So Ngoma is here to do another part‚ (Jeremy) Brockie is here to do another part‚ and Sirino is here to do another part. And I think he’s a direct replacement. He’s never a central midfielder when you need one – he’s direct‚ to replace the CBD," he added.

“I don’t say that they (the signings) will do that immediately. But I say they have the capacity to. And maybe even stronger,” he concluded.