It’s the festive season meaning that leagues around the world are taking a break- or in the case of several leagues in the New World- winding down. Below is an exhaustive list of Palestine’s foreign based contingent and how they’ve fared in the 2015/16 season with their club sides:
More after the jump….
The season has not been kind to national team stalwart Pablo Tamburrini who has featured in every national team game under Barakat bar one. A move away from Palestino has seen him net a total of 27 minutes from a single appearance for San Luis.
Speaking of Palestino, Jonathan Cantillana has also featured sparingly- five appearances, one start, and one goal for the side that made its second straight Apertura playoff final.
One division below, Palestine-eligible Yashir Pinto Islame‘s return to Chile with Curicó Unido has proven to be largely successful- 10 appearances, six starts, and 4 goals helped the side finish a respectable fifth place finish in the season’s first phase. Meanwhile, Daniel Kabir Mustafá’s return to Chile saw him make 10 appearances (7 starts) with Ñublense.
Over in La Segunda, Matías Jadue has notched five goals in 11 starts for big spending Deportes Santa Cruz- making him the side’s top scorer. His teammate- Palestine-eligible Amed Pinto Islame- has been one of the side’s most consistent performers notching 16 starts (1 goal, three cautions) over the team’s 17 games.
Abdelhamid Abuhabib was expected to join Ismaily at the outset of the season but a change of heart saw him stay with Balata in the WBPL. Ismaily had threatened to pursue legal action against the player- who had signed a contract with the club- but it seems that that has come to pass.
Former national team captain, Ramzi Saleh signed for his fifth Egyptian club this year joining Port Said side El Masry. Initially expected to be a backup at the club after less than impressive stints at Masr Lel Maqasa and Assiouty SC- Saleh has made the starting position his own- starting all 8 league games and posting two clean sheets in the process (9 goals conceded). His performances have guided El-Masry into third place- three points off surprise leaders El-Dakhlyeh.
Palestine eligible Amir Falahen broke into Freiburg’s first team this season but has yet to make a matchday squad. In three games with the reserve team (Germany’s fourth tier) the striker has played 257 minutes and scored one goal.
Ashraf Nu’man’s second stint in Jordan with Al-Wehdat isn’t going to plan with the forward being limited to spot time with the defending champions. Rumors have swirled that the player has less than ideal relationships with the club’s established players- goalkeeper Amer Shafee’ and forward Amer Dheeb- an accusation the Nu’man has thoroughly denied via his Facebook page.
Going into the break Al-Wehdat find themselves in fourth place, four points adrift of leaders Al-Faisaly and are reviewing the status of manager Akram Salman. If Salman were to leave this could give Ashraf Nu’man a way back to the team. The club may also decide to sell him if interest from Saudi side Al-Hajer proves to be strong enough to warrant a sizable transfer fee.
Wassim Abdelhady is showing he still has plenty left in the tank. After scoring 10 goals in 22 league appearances for Shabab El-Sahel in 2014/15 the playmaker is off to an equally impressive start in 2015/16 having scored four goals already (9 appearances, 6 starts, 553 total minutes). El-Sahel are in third place, four points off the top, after nine rounds.
Also still finding success, albeit in a reduced role, in Lebanon is Ibrahim Swidan. The striker moved to Al-Ansar last season after a long stint with Tripoli and this season has been relegated to the bench after the team’s acquisition of Lucas Galán. In four appearances (two starts) the lanky target man has totaled 218 minutes and one goal.
Meanwhile, midfielder Mohammed Abu Ateeq has played every minute of all nine games for Al Nabi Shayth. While his teammate- Mohammed Qasim– who was voted best Palestinian player in Lebanon while with Al-Nejmeh last year has failed to replicate that form with his new club.
At the bottom of the table, Mustapha Hallaq has featured in every game (8 starts, 738 total minutes) for Shabab Al-Ghazieh- scoring one goal in the process.
After seeing his move to second division Al-Shoalah delayed due to the blockade on the Gaza Strip, Mohammed Barakat has hit the ground running notching his first goal against Al-Oruba this past week. The striker has been limited in playing time due to lack of match fitness and has only made two appearances as a substitute since joining the club earlier this month.
Jaka Ihbeisheh has been a consistent performer for his new side Rudar Velenje (20 appearances, 19 starts, three cautions) playing mostly as a right back. He even exacted a measure of revenge on his former side- Krka- scoring the winner in a cup tie.
Three Palestinians are set to feature in the Superettan, the country’s second tier, in 2016. Imad Zatara made his return from injury by signing with AFC United playing sparingly throughout the second half of the 2015 season (11 appearances, three starts, 332 minutes played). Mahmoud Eid’s fine season with Nyköping (17 starts, 9 goals, 8 assists) was rewarded with a move to top tier Atvidaberg (who have since been relegated). Palestine-eligible Ahmad Awad had a similarly impressive season with Dalkurd (24 appearances, 20 starts, 11 goals) en route to winning there Division 1 Norra title by a whopping 13 points.
Alexis Norambuena, who has been excellent for Palestine in 2015, remains unattached having last featured for GKS Belchatow in the Polish Ekstraklasa. Given the fact that he has Polish citizenship, he’ll theoretically be able to sign with any club in 28 countries. He remains based in Poland training in the hopes of clinching such a deal.
Having signed for Atletico CP in the summer Javier Cohene got off to a pretty solid start with the side. He was in the matchday squad for his first game, came on as a sub in his second game, before putting in a full shift in his third game. His return to health earned him a call up to the national team but an Achilles injury sustained while with Palestine never healed properly and he underwent surgery to repair it earlier this month. The club and the Paraguayan-born player parted ways soon thereafter.