Mohammed Ghaddar: Is Kelantan’s explosive striker destined for JDT?

Football Malaysia LLP’s decision to allow foreign players to swap clubs has sparked several interesting transfer speculations, given that the mid-season window (which opens on the 15th of May) is edging closer.

UiTM FC’s Akanni Sunday is easily the hottest prospect of the Malaysian Premier League and according to local news reports, he’s already attracting plenty of attention. However, another individual, who is setting the Malaysian Super League alight, is being actively linked with a move to the reigning champions, Johor DT.

The Lebanese striker has been in scintillating form for Kelantan FA in the MSL this year, scoring 18 goals in 11 matches thus far. And all of these has been done for a Kelantan side that has been beleaguered by plenty of problems off the pitch.


Word on the street is that Johor DT have been keeping close tabs on him for a couple of months now, since it was evident that Ghaddar’s predatory instincts were still intact. The Southern Tigers’ themselves have a bit of trouble in the offensive department. Brian Ferreira has been absolutely underwhelming, and is likely to be shipped off later this month. Gonzalo Cabrera, while decent in some games, hasn’t exactly convinced Tunku Ismail and Benjamin Mora. Gabriel Guerra remains the only offensive threat in their squad and Mora is desperate to add another goalscorer, given that their AFC Cup form has also been rather inconsistent.


The Lebanese forward is a proven goalscorer in the MSL, which is exactly what JDT need at this juncture. Looking for fresh options abroad could be tricky, since the player could either fail to adapt to Malaysian football or take some time to get adjusted – time isn’t something JDT have on their hands at this point. In Ghaddar, they’ll be getting someone who can bang in the goals and someone who has AFC Cup experience under his sleeves as well. His versatility and ability to play on the flanks also bodes well with the type of players available at Mora’s disposal – Guerra, Hazwan and Darren Lok are all flexible as well.


While it’s easy to understand why JDT are interested in Ghaddar, getting him appears to be the tricky part. Kelantan are in no mood to sell, and the man himself appears happy enough to remain in Kota Bharu for the rest of the year. They’ve just been docked six points, and within the Kelantan camp, there appears to be a strong desire to bounce back and silence their critics. And as much as football is more than just one man, Ghaddar’s form will undoubtedly be crucial to their chances of achieving anything this year.

But beyond that, with the general elections edging closer, Tan Sri Annuar Musa is desperately in need of political capital. Letting Ghaddar leave will not go down well with the Red Warriors faithful. Kelantan have scored 24 goals in the MSL this year, and Ghaddar bagged 18 of those – that’s a whopping 75%! It’s precisely why Annuar Musa took to Facebook to dispute these rumours, recently.

“A Super League team has made an offer for Ghaddar. But KAFA must not look at money. I brought Ghaddar in on a very cheap fee – we didn’t have to pay any agents. That allowed us to save hundreds of thousands. He’s almost like a son to me. We won’t only keep Ghaddar, but we’ll pair him up with another twin upfront,” he said via Facebook.

Having said that, there’s always a number to everything (unless Bobby Axelrod is wrong). Given Kelantan’s ongoing financial woes, a tasty offer from JDT would be incredibly difficult to reject. The Southern Tigers aren’t entirely opposed to buying out players’ contracts either – they’ve done it with Hazwan Bakri and even Azrif Nasrulhaq. Question is, do JDT want him enough?

What are your thoughts on this rumour? Let us know by commenting below!

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