Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns defender Ricardo Nascimento believes striker Gaston Sirino has become "one of our key players" after plugging the gap created by the departure of Khama Billiat.
The 27-year-old Sirino has bagged three goals and provided two assists in 10 Absa Premiership appearances this season, while also chipping in with one goal in the CAF Champions League.
While the departure of Billiat did leave a big void, Nascimento feels his fellow South American and other team-mates have stepped up to the plate this season.
"Gaston has done well for us since his arrival and is one of our key players in the team," Nascimento is quoted as saying by the SowetanLIVE website.
"Losing Khama was obviously a big blow but a number of our players have raised their hands including Gaston.
"Every year we lose players at Sundowns, but we have enough quality to make up for that."
And, ahead of Saturday's clash with Chiefs at FNB Stadium, Nascimento has highlighted the threat posed by former team-mate Leonardo Castro, who also left Sundowns for Amakhosi.
"Leo is an incredible striker with an eye for goal, which means he just needs one chance and can score for his team," Nascimento said.
"This season has not been easy for him due to injuries. But just like any top striker he is dangerous, and he will also be motivated playing against his former team.
"We know each other very well. Since arriving in SA Castro and I have become good mates because obviously at first we had to stick together because we couldn't speak the language."
Kick-off is at 15:30.