When he was brought on in the 81st minute, he was welcomed by fans who carried placards spelling out “Welcome home George Lebese”.
The former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder had a few good touches, took two corners and swung in a good cross but it was not enough to help Masandawana escape an early exit from the mega-moneycompetition.
Although not as quick as Keagan Dolly, Lebese will give Pitso Mosimane’s side some bite on the left wing and provide crosses. He also packs a good shot and will be a handful for goalkeepers, especially during set-pieces – he will give captain Hlompho Kekana some competition in that department.
Mosimane enthused about his new recruits – Lebese and Oupa Manyisa – and said they are just what he has been looking for.
“If you don’t know Sundowns and you are looking from the outside, you won’t be able to tell that Oupa and George are new to the team.
“They are just fitting in like a glove, that is why we opted for these players. We don’t sign just because we just want to sign. George plays on the left the way we play and he replaces Dolly,” said the 53-year-old mentor.
“We had to give them a run. They suit our style well. Lebese is a Mamelodi boy and you can’t have a team from there with no player from the area. It is a project of mine to get Mamelodi players and I have the blessing of the club’s board. Any player from Mamelodi we will chase – but only if he has the talent and suits our style,” added Mosimane.
Sundowns media officer Thulani Thuswa revealed that the pair had been on Mosimane’s wish list since he joined the team some four years ago.
“We started speaking to Chiefs four years ago,” said Thuswa. “When Pitso joined us four years ago these two players were on his initial wish list. We have been monitoring their situation and Pitso finally got his men,” he added.