Up to seven Arabic players are to join Nottingham Forest on trial over the next 10 days following the English club’s Kuwaiti takeover.
Having axed boss Steve Cotterill less than 48 hours after their takeover at the City Ground last week, the Al Hasawi family have outlined their vision for the club, and that includes giving Arab players a chance to make a name for themselves at the club.
Chief among them is 27-year-old Kuwaiti striker Bader Mutawwa’, a player described by Fawaz Al Hasawi as the “second best player in Asia”.
The Qadsia striker has appeared 118 times for his country, scoring 39 goals, and was runner-up in the Asian Footballer of the Year awards in 2006.
“He is well known and is the second best player in Asia. His name is Bader Mutawwa’ and if put mention his name in youtube you will see lots of footage of him,” Fawaz Al Hasawi told UAE magazine ME Sports Talk.
Al Arabi goalkeeper Khalid Al-Rashidi is another Fawaz has confirmed the club are keen to take a closer look, although he added of the seven players they are interested in, “they are not all Kuwaitis. Some are Kuwaitis, some are from Asia and some from Europe.”
Syria international duo Firas al-Khatib and Omar al-Soma, teammates of Mutawwa’ at Kuwaiti side Qadsia, have already arrived in Nottingham to take part in pre-season training.
“We have been invited to train with Nottingham Forest and we hope we can play at their level,” 29-year old striker al-Khatib told Al Watan TV station. “We also hope we can represent Arab football, Syrian football and Kuwaiti football as well.”
Despite the influx of talent at the behest of the new owners, Fawaz Al Hasawi, insists the final decision over whether the club signs any of the players will rest with the new manager, who they insist will be named within the next seven days.
“In the end the coach he will decide will play,” said Fawaz. “Maybe we can recommend players. I worked in Kuwait for 15 years so I know good players.
“So I suggest to the manager that we give this player a chance. Maybe you like him, maybe not but at least you give him an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, aside from new players Abdulaziz Al Hasawi has also confirmed that the new owners plan to invest heavily in modernising the club’s stadium.
“Developing the City Ground is a top priority – to renovate and refurbish the stadium,” he said. “As for a future plan of building a new stadium. We will study this when the time is right.”