With the outbreak of COVID-19 in March football calendars the world over were thrown into chaos. FIFA windows in March and June were missed, Asian World Cup Qualifying is on pause until some date later in 2021, and the transfer window that used to fuel a summer of speculation was only closed in October.
Here are some of the transfers you might have missed during this time:
Saado joins Cypriot League outfit
There were of course some other moves that went under the radar. Most notably, Saado Abdelsalam moved from the Greek League were he had spent the entirety of his career to Cypriot League. The 22 year old started his first three games of the season with Ermis Aradippou before succumbing to injury. In his three starts, Saado played every minute and helped Ermis Aradippou keep two clean sheets.
Matias Jadue returns to Chile
Matías Jadue’s time in Vietnam started off promisingly with his glut of goals helping Ho Chi Minh City avoid relegation in 2018. The Santiago born forward was set to play a big role for the team in 2019 but injury ruled him out for most of the campaign- one which saw City finish runners-up in the V-League.
The start of the V-League was delayed due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus at which point Jadue decided to call time on his stint with Ho Chi Minh City.
Rangers de Talca- of the Chilean second tier- is now Jadue’s new home. It’s a club with several connections to Palestine- it gave Leo Zamora a coaching debut in 2018 and employed Rodrigo Gattas in that same season. Rangers are well placed for a promotion push this season- the club is in second place with 12 rounds left to play and Jadue has spoken highly of the sporting project in this interview to AS.
Jadue put pen to paper on October 22nd and has appeared in two games thus far- totaling 32 minutes off the bench.
ISLAM BATRAN MOVES TO AL-HUSSEIN IRBID
After doing quite well for Al-Jazeera in local and continental competitions, Batran tried his luck at manufacturing a move abroad. It was revealed that NK Riejka was interested but in the end the former Shabab Yatta player could only conjure up a trial with second division Croatian side NK Opatija.
Batran has been confined to a quarantine period over the past two weeks but will be able to play for his new club in Jordan- Al-Hussein Irbid- once the league returns from the international break later this month.
Uncertainty for Indonesian based trio
At the start of this year, Palestinian footballers had found a home in Indonesia who had no doubt taken stock in Palestine’s two 6-0 destruction of regional rivals Malaysia in 2018 World Cup qualifying. They had also experienced a good start to the 2020 season as well, with Mahmoud Eid scoring for fun for Persebaya, Jonathan showing off his set piece ability for PSIS Semarang, and Yashir Islame fast becoming a key player for Barito Putera.
At the time of writing, Yashir Islame and Barito Putera have parted ways with the club unable to retain the services of any of their foreign players.
Jonathan has stuck with PSIS Semarang but issued a deadline of November 30th in regards to his future. The midfielder has insisted there must be some certainty in regards to the league for him to continue.
If football doesn’t resume Jonathan and Mahmoud Eid could be in new leagues soon. Eid confirmed as much in an interview with Goal.com:
“How could I not enjoy playing here, the first time I saw that the enthusiasm of Indonesian supporters, especially Surabaya, I saw how big football here was. We got huge crowds mobbing us for winning a pre-season tournament trophy. But everything changed when the pandemic came. How will it feel, it is very bad for sure. I want the league to continue but now the conditions are like increasingly unclear.”
YASER HAMED EYEING EGYPT MOVE?
Yaser Hamed had been an integral piece of a Portugalete side that had dominated the Spanish 4th tier since his arrival in early 2019. This season the side clinched promotion through the playoffs after falling at the final hurdle last year.
Unfortunately for Hamed, Portugalete decided not to renew his contract and he will thus not be with the side in Segunda B (Third Tier). Since that announcement, Hamed has been without a club although it was rumored that he was on the radar of several Egyptian Premier League sides.
A move to Egypt would make sense given the success of multiple Palestinian footballers there. The older generation of Emad Ayoub, Ramzi Saleh, and Mohammed Samara paved the way for Mahmoud Wadi. The recent success of Wadi prompted Al-Masry to buy Mohammed Saleh.
Big clubs even sprung for young talent from Gaza with Al-Ahly securing the rights to Mahmoud El-Selmy (now with Shabab Aqaba in Jordan) and Pyramids buying Hamed Hamdan (who made his pro debut two months ago while on loan with Tanta).