Mali forward Abdoulay Diaby joins Al Jazira on two-year deal

Former Club Brugge and Sporting Lisbon player reunites with manager Marcel Keizer

Al Jazira have completed the signing of Malian forward Abdoulay Diaby on a two-year contract, the Adnoc Pro League champions announced on Monday.

Jazira manager Marcel Keizer has worked with Diaby when the pair were together at Sporting Lisbon, winning the Portuguese Cup and Portuguese League Cup in the 2018-19 season.

Diaby, 30, has made 24 appearances for his country and scored seven times. He also played for a number of European clubs including French side Lille and Turkish giants Besiktas, as well as Belgium’s Club Brugge, where he won the Belgian Pro League and Super Cup twice.

“I personally know Keizer, I played extremely well under him and we won titles together, yet that was not the only reason I joined,” Diaby said after completing the deal at the Mohamed bin Zayed stadium.

“Al Jazira have an excellent reputation in Europe because a number of global stars have represented the club, including some of the best African players such as the legend George Weah, and other stars such as Jonathan Pitroipa, Mbark Boussoufa and Thulani Serero.

“The club presented me with an outstanding football project, and winning the league last season will boost the confidence we have in ourselves to win more this season. I will give the best of my individual and team ability for the team in order to reach the club’s goals.”

Jazira’s CEO Ali Yousef Al Hammadi said Diaby’s signing was a massive addition to the current squad.

“Abdoulay Diaby was a perfect fit, he has the technical ability needed and has already worked with Marcel who brought out the best in him,” he said.

“We firmly believe that will happen again at Jazira, and Diaby will do extremely well with the help of his teammates.”

Jazira sporting director Mads Davidsen said Diaby has been signed because he fits the profile of the player the club are looking for and expects the Malian to prove a success in the capital.

“Diaby is a player we know very well also as Marcel has worked with him before, so when the opportunity came we believed this is the right profile to add our squad with his international experience and proven record,” he said.

“He covers all offensive positions, so will bring us with various offensive options and especially under Marcel in our style of play, we are convinced we can bring back his best performances.”

Updated: August 24th 2021, 8:09 AM