The June transfer window for the Malaysia Super League (MSL) is around the corner and all teams (except Kelantan, probably) will be looking to strengthen their cause in order to finish the second half of the season in a good position. There have been rumours going around suggesting the likes of Dickson Nwakaeme, Pablo Guerra and Francesco Totti will be heading to Malaysia to continue their professional careers, however, this would mean a number of foreign players will have their contracts terminated in order to accommodate the signings.
Indonesia Soccer Championship (ISC) side Madura FC have announced the signing of Perak FA midfielder Erick Weeks Lewis and the news have come to a surprise to many considering the amount of game time and contribution the Liberian has offered this season. The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have just terminated Ali Ashfaq’s contract, who has been one of their best players and topscorers this season, because of a long-term injury.
FourthOfficial.com will look at the foreign players that are likely to be dropped by their clubs:
Vokhid Shodiev (Perak FA)
The 29 year-old Uzbekistan international was signed by The Bos Gaurus this season as a direct replacement for ex-PDRM striker Charles Chad. The Perak fans were looking forward to witness the 6-foot-4 forward in action because of his goalscoring form in previous clubs.
However, Vokhid Shodiev has failed to make his mark at the club this season, except for consistently disappointing and infuriating The Seladangs’ supporters. He was the top goalscorer for FK Buxoro in the Uzbekistan Professional Football League in 2012 and 2013. Vokhid Shodiev has scored only one goal in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) this season and his attacking teammate Elias Fernandes has scored seven goals throughout the season.
Perak FA are currently in tenth place and they must step up to terminate Vokhid Shodiev’s contract and sign someone else to continue playing in the highest level of Malaysian football.
Sandro da Silva (Kedah FA)
The man from Fortaleza, which is one of the largest cities in Brazil, was an instrumental figure for Kedah last season after winning the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) and scored seven goals in the Malaysia Cup to guide his team to the final at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Sandro da Silva was poised to lead the Kedah team into the new season alongside the likes of midfield powerhouse Liridon Krasniqi and new signing and compatriot Carlos Kahe. However, his season has been hampered by injuries and he was forced to fly back to his native land for a month to undergo a career-threatening surgery on his leg.
Tan Cheng Hoe has been praised and complimented by a number of head coaches for his direct approach to the game, on and off the pitch, and it would not be surprising to see him offload the Brazilian attacking midfielder and not risk a chance to have four players in July.
Dramane Traore (Kelantan FA)
Kelantan were blessed with two major signings this season, which were the sponsorship of Datuk Seri Dr Hasmiza Othman’s Vida Beauty brand and Dramane Traore (ex-PDRM), who was the highest goalscorer in the league last season with 20 goals to his name.
Fast forward four months, Kelantan are currently in eighth place in the league, were eliminated from the Superbest Power FA Cup in the third round and threatened by their main sponsor Datuk Seri Vida that she will stop funding the club if their poor run of form continues.
On the pitch, Dramane Traore has failed to live up to his expectations and only managed three goals in twelve games for the Pamoga Qu Puteh The Red Warriors (PQPTRW) squad. On the contrary, Baze Ilijoski has been one of their best players this season and is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the league with seven goals. The Malian international may be heading for the exit after Tan Sri Annuar Musa hinted at an exciting transfer window.
Juan Jose Morales (Terengganu FA)
Ahmad Yusof, who was the head coach for Terengganu at the start of the season, admitted his relief after capturing the signature of ex-Atletico All Boys forward Juan Jose Morales as their fourth foreign player. The 34 year-old was brought in The Turtles squad as a direct replacement Paulo Rangel, who moved down south to join Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT).
Juan Jose Morales does not seem like he suits the style and play of Malaysian football. He has only scored one goal for Mike Mulvey’s team and spends most of his time on the bench. The Argentinian looks unfit as he does not possess the predatory instincts of a goalscorer.
Mike Mulvey completely transformed the team into a decent team and by signing a quality striker to replace Juan Morales, the likes of Issey Nakajima-Farran and Gustavo Lopez will help improve the team’s performances and results in the second half of the season.
Mauro Olivi (Selangor FA)
The big-figure signing of Argentinian striker Mauro Olivi was supposed to make The Red Giants a form of threat to The Southern Tigers’ dominance in Malaysian football. However, the quick-footed forward has failed to replace the legacy left by Guilherme de Paula Lucrécio.
To be brutally honest, Mauro Olivi just does not seem like a Selangor player. He has failed to create a vital presence against defenders all season long and has scored less than Malaysia’s own R. Gopinathan. What is the point of having a foreign forward when you cannot even score the goals? To make matters worse, his recent dressing room bust-up with ex-Pahang midfielder Hafiz Kamal was where everything went downhill for the former Colo Colo man.
There have been rumours suggesting the reunion of Zainal Abidin and Dickson Nwakaeme (formerly Pahang). The duo have won the FA Cup and Malaysia Cup together and a Patrick Ronaldinho-Dickson Nwakaeme partnership will definitely strike fear into their opponents.