Arabian Gulf League: Al Shabab sign Argentine midfielder from Apoel
Al Shabab have completed their foreign contingent for the new Arabian Gulf League season with the signing of Tomas De Vincenti from Cypriot side Apoel.
The Argentine midfielder, 27, had agreed to join the club last month, but the deal was confirmed on Friday since he still needed clearance from his former employers.
De Vincenti is Shabab’s second foreign recruit of the summer after the Dubai side added Dutch striker Ruud Boymans, from Holland’s Utrecht, in June. Shabab have also a new manager at the helm, with Dutchman Fred Rutten replacing Caio Junior at the conclusion of last season.
An attacking midfielder, De Vincenti is expected to carry Shabab’s creative thrust for the 2016/17 campaign. He excelled during two and a half years at Apoel, initially on loan, netting eight goals in his first nine league matches to help the team lift the Cypriot league title. He also scored in their Cypriot Cup final victory.
Such form convinced Apoel that summer to make permanent his move from Greece’s Olympiacos, with De Vincenti then playing an integral role in the club’s qualification for the 2014/15 Uefa Champions League and a second successive domestic league title win. In May last year, he again scored in the Cypriot Cup final to help his team clinch the trophy.
De Vincenti lifted a third league title with Apoel last season, while earlier this month he scored in the Champions League qualifying victory against Norway’s Rosenborg. It proved to be his last match for the club. In 102 appearances for Apoel, he scored 43 goals.
In an emotional post on his Instagram account, De Vincenti thanked the Cypriots for his time there, adding: “Now I start a new and beautiful challenge in my career, was something that I choose… I needed to move on, I am very happy in Al Shabab. They treat me very good and they make me feel like at Apoel.”
De Vincenti will now seek to help his new side improve upon last season’s disappointing fifth-place finish in the Arabian Gulf League. They kick off their league campaign at home to Sharjah on September 16. De Vincenti joins Boymans, Henrique Luvannor and Azizbek Haydarov on Shabab’s foreign ranks.
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Updated: August 12, 2016 04:00 AM