While now the UAE stand little hope of making their way to next summer’s World Cup, coach Edgardo Bauza must now refresh the team for 2019’s Asian Cup on home soil.
Here, Sport360° looks at the emerging talents available to the Argentine…
UAE record: N/A A mid-season move to Abu Dhabi from Al Wasl has elevated Ali’s status and made him a President’s Cup winner. Along with Al Jazira’s Ali Khaseif, was the outstanding goalkeeper in the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League. This form saw him be named in Bauza’s initial 30-man squad, before he was forced to withdraw. But a horrendous rick in the AFC Champions League at Iran’s Persepolis has stained some views of him.
Club: Al Nasr
UAE record: N/A The imposing Mubarak seems the natural successor to the ageing Al Ain pair of Ismail Ahmed and Mohanad Salem at centre-back. Has been schooled in the defensive arts at Al Nasr by both Ivan Jovanovic and Dan Petrescu, two coaches who always take a safety-first approach. Competition for places with fellow Emirati Mubarak Saeed has also aided his development. His eight clean sheets kept in 21 league starts last term shows his potential.
Position: Defensive midfielder
Club: Al Ain
UAE record: Five games, zero goals The time has come for Barman to deliver on his startling promise and cement his spot in the UAE’s line-up for the next decade. His stellar form with Al Ain at the back end of last season saw him start both the 4-0 friendly win against Laos and 1-1 draw with Thailand. In the latter match, only an adequate display was put in. With the Al Ahli pair of Majed Hassan and Khamis Esmail either perennially injured or out of form, Barman must strike.
Club: Al Jazira
UAE record: Three games, zero goals The moustached marvel and jewel of the UAE youth ranks possesses a frightening array of skills, with comparisons to the exalted Amoory not entirely misplaced. His five goals and six assists in 22 AGL run-outs was a boon to Jazira’s quest to lift the topflight crown. His elevation into the Whites XI would add more creativity and balance, even if it comes with one of Mabkhout or imminent club-mate Ahmed Khalil dropping out.
Club: Al Wahda
UAE record: N/A The Clarets youngster burst into life during 2017, adding youthful zest and goals to his boyhood club’s senior side. His relative inexperience – two goals have been harvested from six AGL games – saw him remain behind clubmate Mohamed Al Akbari when it came to Bauza selecting his first squad. Yet if he can continue in the same vein, he looks a potentially frightening option for the UAE. Raw pace is something all teams struggle to deal with.
Know more about Sport360 Application