Al Wasl rescue striker Yousef Ahmed from the wilderness at Al Ain

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Yousef Ahmed shoots for Al Ain in the 2017 AFC Champions League.

Underused striker Yousef Ahmed will look to kick-start his career at Al Wasl after he inked a three-year deal following an exit from boyhood club Al Ain.

Ahmed, 24, burst into the Boss’ first team with six goals in 13 appearances during 2012/13. This seemed to herald a fine career in the Arabian Gulf League and beyond, but a succession of injuries plus intense competition for places with the likes of Ghana icon Asamoah Gyan and Sweden No9 Marcus Berg limited his involvement.

Just three more strikes in 20 top-flight cameos followed before a parting of the ways occurred this summer.

Wasl were desperate to add depth to their attacking options and moved quickly to secure his signature. Brazilian forwards Fabio De Lima and Caio Canedo scored 78.6 per cent of their AGL goals during last term’s run to third place, with reserve centre forward Hassan Mohammed registering twice in seven cameos.

Ahmed represents the first addition of Gustavo Quinteros’ reign. The ex-Bolivia defender was picked to replace Argentine coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena last month in the Zabeel Stadium dugout.

Quinteros, 53, had been out of work since an ignominious 14-game spell at Saudi Arabian giants Al Nassr ended with the sack in January. He had previously been dismissed by Ecuador last September because of their impending failure to make World Cup 2018.

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Marcel Keizer has a serious mission at hand to turn Al Jazira around

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Al Jazira have looked to the Netherlands once again and hired former Ajax head coach Marcel Keizer as replacement for revitalising countryman Henk ten Cate.

Keizer, 49, comes to Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on a two-year contract and inherits a talented side that was beset by external issues last term.

We take a look at the pressing issues he will need to solve if he is to replicate the stellar achievements of his lionised predecessor.

REHABILITATING HIS REPUTATION

It was not just Jazira’s name that took a pounding last term.

Keizer was handed a huge promotion in summer 2017 from Jong Ajax – and subsequently blew it. The words of general manager Edwin van der Sar were particularly scathing, stating: “We had a horrible summer and poor start to the season.”

This is certainly true of the failures in the Champions League and Europa League play-offs, ending a 25-year continuous spell of European competition.

Yet Kaizer can argue he’d earned 16 of the last 18 available points when Ajax pulled the trigger on December 21 – the Eredivisie’s best form at the time.

Such achievements show Jazira have done their homework on the new man. It is time to repay this show of faith.

YOUTH IS THE FUTURE

A key aspect of Keizer’s CV must have appealed to Jazira – his focus on youth.

When in charge of the fabled Jong Ajax – Ajax’s main youth team – in 2016/17, he led them to second place in the Eerste Divisie. Vitally, Matthijs de Ligt came under his care at this time and is now Europe’s greatest centre-back prospect.

The doomed stints of UAE forward Ahmed Khalil, ex-France anchorman Lassana Diarra and Uzbekistan winger Sardor Rashidov ensured that youngsters got chances last term under Ten Cate.

Keizer should now relish getting his hands on the likes of defenders Mohamed Al Attas and Khalifa Al Hammadi.

GETTING A GRIP ON RECRUITMENT

Last summer’s recruitment drive promised untold success for Jazira – it instead delivered misery.

Brazilian forward Romarinho is the only man left standing, with Emirati centre-back Mohammed Ali Ayed imminently expected to sign for Al Wahda.

It doesn’t look much better for the winter additions of Oman pair Mohammed Al Musalami and Harib Al Saadi. This churn of talent is no way to run a football club.

Both a new administration and manager must aim for consistency of selection if 2016/17’s drive for Arabian Gulf League glory is to be repeated.

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Al Jazira appoint coach Marcel Keizer as replacement for fellow Dutchman Henk ten Cate

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Marcel Keizer (r) at Al Jazira (Twitter/@AlJazira_uae).

Former Ajax head coach Marcel Keizer was confirmed on Saturday at Al Jazira on a two-year deal as the successor to fellow Dutchman Henk ten Cate.

Keizer had been out of work since he was dismissed by the Amsterdam giants last December once they were eliminated at the round-of-16 stage of the KNVB Cup by troubled FC Twente.

The 49-year-old was promoted internally after strong work at Jong Ajax the previous June to replace Borussia Dortmund-bound Peter Bosz. His short reign also included failures in the Champions League and Europa League play-offs to deny the club European football for the first time in 25 years.

Another steep task awaits Keizer as he now replaces the revered Ten Cate – also a former Ajax boss. The retired 63-year-old earned legendary status at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium thanks to winning the 2015/16 President’s Cup and 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League, plus pushing Real Madrid all the way on home soil during the 2017 Club World Cup’s semi-finals.

Keizer will be expected to oversee an overhaul of the squad whose limp title defence ended with a seventh-placed top-flight finish, amid significant off-field issues.

Brazilian forward Romarinho is the only member of the four-player foreign quartet expected to be retained. Influential Morocco centre midfielder Mbark Boussoufa has already departed, while the futures of Oman internationals Mohammed Al Musalami and Harib Al Saadi remain in doubt.

The loss of emerging UAE forward Ahmed Al Attas, 22, on a free transfer to Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club should be imminently announced. A career-best tally of six goals in 15 AGL appearances was recorded by him during 2017/18.

Keizer made four Eredivisie appearances as a midfielder at Ajax from 1987-99. He then played out his career at SC Cambuur, De Graafschap and FC Emmen before retiring in 2002.

Stints in charge of lower-league outfits Argon and VVSB followed from 2007-2012. After that he had spells at FC Emmen and Cambuur, with whom he was relegated from the 2015/16 Eredivisie, while his time with Jong Ajax culminated in a second-placed finish in 2016/17’s Eerste Divisie.

His subsequent move up to the Ajax first team was troubled from the off, even though he was dismissed with his charges sitting second in the Eredivisie – five points off eventual champions PSV Eindhoven.

General manager Edwin van der Sar was scathing in his assessment.

He said: “We had a horrible summer and poor start to the season. The elimination from European competition was the lowest point.”

Kaizer will begin his new role on July 1. Pre-season will likely be undertaken, once again, in his native Netherlands.

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