Promoted Fujairah have announced the impressive capture of prolific Hatta attacking midfielder Fernando Gabriel.
Gabriel, 30, excelled last term despite the sorry Tornado finishing bottom of the Arabian Gulf League. He struck an outstanding 10 times in 16 top-flight matches and notched once against the – evidently impressed – Wolves in this month’s tense two-legged promotion/relegation play-off.
This stellar form led to a scramble for the Brazilian’s signature that also featured Sharjah and Dibba Al Fujairah. Superior financial terms tipped the balance towards the side who are preparing for their first campaign outside First Division League since 2015/16.
Fujairah previously inked a one-year deal for Al Shabab Riyadh forward Mohammed Benyettou. The Algerian had struck 22 times in 57 Saudi Professional League fixtures.
Argentine forward Danilo Carando and French midfielder Omar Kossoko are not expected to be retained in the four-player foreign quota.
No decision has been made yet about whether Dr Abdullah Misfer will lead them into the AGL. The ex-Dibba Al Fujairah, Al Dhafra and UAE Under-23 tactician took over from Diego Maradona after a saga about the Argentina 1986 World Cup-winner’s future that garnered global attention, leading them successfully through the play-offs.
The recruitment of Gabriel represents a significant step-up in quality. His 10 goals made him the highest-scoring midfielder for 2017/18.
Fujairah are the 18th club that the Eldorado-native has played for, across five different countries. Previous employers include Azerbaijan’s Khazar Lankaran, Iran’s Persepolis and Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaly.
— FUJAIRAH FC (@Fuj_FC) May 23, 2018