Jurgen Streppel’s Al Jazira reign has kicked off with the capture of experienced midfielder Sultan Al Ghaferi on a free transfer.
Al Ghaferi, 32, who moves from neighbours Al Wahda, will join his new ‘Pride of Abu Dhabi’ team-mates for the first time during this month’s summer training camp in the Netherlands for the 2019/20 season. He will be overseen there by new coach Streppel, who joined last month as replacement for fellow Dutchman Damien Hertog.
The bargain signing brings plenty of nous to the club, having featured in nearly 150 Arabian Gulf League matches and started five times upon the Clarets’ charge to the 2019 AFC Champions League’s knockouts. He has also represented the UAE, winning five caps.
Prior to joining Wahda, where he spent four years, Al Ghaferi had enjoyed spells at Bani Yas and Al Ain.
Ayed Mabkhout, board member of Al Jazira and CEO of the Football Company, said: “We are delighted that Al Ghaferi has signed with our club and we are all looking forward to working with him. His talent and football mentality will be invaluable to the squad.
“He brings in a lot of experience with him which our young players will benefit from and we believe he will help these youngsters reach their potential through our campaign in the new season.”
Al Ghaferi added: “I feel honoured for the club to place their trust in my abilities and I will perform at my best to contribute the success of the Pride of Abu Dhabi and promise the fans to bring them joy through our performance.
“I am looking forward to working with Jurgen Struppel and his coaching staff. I look forward to this new challenge and be part of the club’s vision that is truly exciting and I am so happy that I will be a part of that.”
Jazira finished fifth in the 2018/19 AGL, missing out on qualification to the 2020 continental competition.
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