Following Al Fahim’s announcement in the last couple of days, it looks as though Pompey will be bringing a UAE international to Fratton.
Who on earth could it be? And is this really a good idea? FanZone star and part-time Vital Pompey columnist Pete Alexander investigates…
Morning all. So, the good Doctor wants to bring some Emirati talent to the Prem does he? Before we all get worried about an influx of mismatched talent, let’s just have a look at the possibilities. Using my expert knowledge of Middle East ‘soccer’ (and a little thing called the World Wide Web), I’ve narrowed my predictions to three potential stars. Here goes…
Potential target #1 – Ismail Matar
Pint-sized creative attacking midfielder (26 years old) who apparently won the Golden Ball award (player of the tournament) and the 2003 World Youth Championships. Great goalscoring record for UAE (17 in 60) and his one club to date, Al-Wahda (58 in 243). Sounds like a bit of a talisman, but has not played outside the UAE league yet. Also led his country to their first ever trophy – the 2007 Gulf Cup which was hosted in Abu Dhabi and was played by all of the Gulf nations – a half-decent, World Cup experienced team involved in Saudi Arabia, although UAE beat Oman in the final.
Likelihood rating – * * * (3 stars)
Potential target #2 – Ahmed Khalil
Recently called up to the national squad, Khalil seems to be something of a teenage prodigy. A 17 years old with an eye for goal, he finished top scorer at the Under 19s AFC Championships recently and has just been voted Asian Young Footballer of the Year 2008. Sky Sports have actually run their ‘Youth Scout’ process over him, so he’s picked up a bit of profile in recent months. He’s already reportedly had a trial with Chelski, so I’m sure there are a few eyes on him, but watch this space.
Likelihood rating – * * * * * (5 stars)
Potential target #3 – Saif Mohammed Al-Bishr
A pacy left winger (25) who is the second most expensive player in UAE history after a transfer in 2008 took him from Al Shaab to Al Ain. Bit of an outside bet, but a pretty high profile player in his homeland who is a regular with the national team, playing all of their World Cup Qualifiers to date.
Likelihood rating – * (1 stars)
I reckon Al Fahim has got his sights set on Ahmed Khalil, the rising star of UAE football and a kid who the national team reckon can put the country on the map. I ain’t no soothsayer, but don’t say you didn’t hear it here first.
Thanks for listening. You’ve been a great audience.
Written by Pete Alexander AKA pedalo.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.