Posts

ASEAN Scouting Report: Strikers

 

In the final installment of our 5 article series on ASEAN player scouting, it’s the turn of strikers. A perennial problem position throughout ASEAN national teams, this is also the position in which the biggest improvements could be made. Port have long struggled with finding both foreign quota and Thai strikers, so bringing in an ASEAN quota player who knows where the net is could be enormously influential. Here are five players we should be looking at.

 


 

Ilija Spasojević

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿10m

Position: ST

Current Club: Bali Utd

Nationality: Montenegrin/Indonesian

Age: 29

Height: 1.80m

 

Spasojević has already been connected with a move to T1, and that’s no surprise. Thai clubs would be mad if they weren’t sniffing around. His scoring record in Indonesia is outrageously consistent, so you’re getting guaranteed goals, which from an ASEAN striker would be incredibly valuable. Spasojević was born and raised in Montenegro, but has played in Indonesia long enough to claim Indonesian nationality, which he did in 2017. His style is plain to see from his highlight reel, which is a litany of poacher’s goals. He does his work in the penalty area, and he’s good at what he does. Would probably be a massive signing for any team in T1.

 

Hoàng Vũ Samson

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿6.5m

Position: ST

Current Club: Hà Nội FC

Nationality: Nigerian/Vietnamese

Age: 31

Height: 1.82m

 

Samson is the all-time leading scorer in the V League and he’s got Vietnamese nationality. He has unfortunately also had one complete failure of a stint in Thailand, when Buriram signed him only to play him twice and ship him back off to Vietnam. This doesn’t have to mean that the Nigerian-born forward couldn’t be a success here though, his goal record is so good that he surely has to chops to succeed given the right conditions. What those are is anyone’s guess, but the reward for being right is a boatload of goals, so why not chuck a fat wage his way and see what happens? Here’s a highlight reel from 2016.

 

Ikhsan Fandi

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿1.5m

Position: ST

Current Club: Raufoss IL (Norwegian second tier)

Nationality: South African/Singaporean

Age: 20

Height: 1.83m

 

Ikhsan Fandi is the younger brother of Irfan Fandi, who was excellent in BG Pathum Utd’s defence last season. Ikhsan is a striker though, and impressively he’s notched 5 goals in Norway’s second tier this season, and he’s still only 20. He’s built like a tank, and he looks very useful in the air, which makes him practically unique in terms of South East Asian born players. This guy will be very hot property in years to come, so getting him while he’s still young could be a brilliant move. He’s still got a year left on his contract with Raufoss, so whether or not he’d be open to a move is questionable. Still, clubs should be making inquiries and keeping their ear to the Norwegian ground. Here’s a highlight reel.

 

Patrik Gustavsson

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: ST

Current Club: Åtvidabergs FF (Swedish third tier)

Nationality: Swedish/Thai

Age: 18

Height: –

 

It’s an indictment of the lack of South East Asian strikers around that youngsters feature so prominently in this list, but with that said Patrik Gustavsson, who is apparently eligible to represent Thailand, could be a potentially shrewd signing. He’s only 18 and has made several appearances in the Swedish third tier. Here he is wearing number 14 assisting a goal for his team in the highlights of Åtvidaberg’s match with Lindome earlier this year. You’d probably want to bring him in on trial to see what he can do, but there’s a good chance he’d be a damn sight better than most of the Thai ‘strikers’ stinking out T1.

 

Marcel Sieghart

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: ST

Current Club: SpVgg Unterhaching U17 (German Youth League)

Nationality: German/Thai

Age: 17

Height: –

 

They just keep getting younger, and there’s another family connection here, with Marcel’s older brother Alexander Sieghart playing for Bangkok United. Like Alexander, Marcel has spent time in Bayern Munich’s youth system, and is now playing for SpVgg Unterhaching’s U19s. He’s scored 4 goals in 16 games for them in the youth league this season, so looks to be a decent prospect, at least by South East Asian standards, although there are no highlights to whet the appetite. There would be little point in bringing over a 17 year old other than to give him a taste of training with a T1 team with a view to a future move, but there’s no reason we couldn’t be offering up that possibility.

 


 

For inquiries about other players I’ve looked at in the research for this article, send me an email at earlsy@outlook.com

 

ASEAN Scouting Report: Midfielders

 

In the third of my five articles about scouting ASEAN players we are looking at midfielders. Here are the previous two, which cover goalkeepers and defenders. I’ve separated wingers in to a separate category, so today we’re just looking at defensive, central or attacking midfielders.

I should also clarify something which I’ve had a few questions and comments about in relation to the specifics of the ASEAN quota rule. T1’s quota system details that only transfers of players with 3 or more international caps are guaranteed, which would render most of the players I’m talking about ineligible. However, the rule goes on to state that if teams can sufficiently explain the importance of the transfer to the FAT then exemptions can be given. Amin Nazari, Josh Grommen, Curran Ferns and Marco Casambre all fall in to that category, so presumably the interpretation is quite broad.

With the rule explained, here are our five midfielders. This is a position in which Port have plenty of cover, but whilst we have numbers we don’t necessarily have much quality outside of our starting XI. At least, we don’t have quality which Port management recognizes as such. My suggestions provide both experienced and youthful options, and all come at relatively low cost.

 


 

Gaston Salasiwa

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿8m

Position: CM

Current Club: Notodden FK (Norwegian second tier)

Nationality: Dutch/Indonesian

Age: 31

Height: 1.71m

 

A central midfielder who has spent most of his career playing in the Dutch and Norwegian second tiers, Salasiwa also played for a season in Indonesia. He’s a dead ball specialist with a wicked left foot, and judging from his highlight reel he also likes to have a pop from distance. I couldn’t find any info on whether or not he actually has an Indonesian passport, but the fact that he’s played in Indonesia suggests that he might. Currently in the Norwegian second tier, Salasiwa could be a shrewd signing, although most clubs would probably not want to commit to more than a year contract for a 31 year old.

 

Mike Ott

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿4m

Position: CM

Current Club: Ceres Negros (Philippines first tier)

Nationality: German/Filipino

Age: 24

Height: 1.67m

 

He’s already played a season in Thailand, netting 7 goals in 21 appearances for Angthong Utd in 2017, before moving to Ceres Negros in The Philippines. His older brother Manuel currently plays for Ratchaburi too, so there’s plenty to suggest that Mike would be tempted by a T1 move. The pint-sized midfielder has scored a serious amount of goals everywhere he has been, including nearly a goal every other game at Ceres Negros, so would provide stiff competition for places in attacking midfield. He’s probably not the caliber of player who’s going to walk in to the first team, but he could certainly be of great value to a club like Port. I can’t find a highlight reel for him, but he scores an injury time winner in this AFC Cup clash against Persija Jakarta which also features a penalty save from one Roland Müller.

 

Brendan Gan

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: CM

Current Club: Perak FA (Malaysian first tier)

Nationality: Australian/Malaysian

Age: 31

Height: 1.80m

 

I find it completely mental that Brendan Gan has no Transfermarkt value given the performance he put in for Malaysia against Thailand earlier this month. He’s an all action midfielder with a little bit of everything in his game, and would probably get in to most T1 first teams. He’s a former A League player who also has a few years playing in Malaysia, and has been capped 15 times since 2016. He probably wouldn’t walk straight in to Port’s first team, but he would certainly provide healthy competition, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won himself a place in time. This highlight reel from this year shows what he’s all about. Gan maybe 31, but he’s in absolutely peak physical condition, as he doesn’t tire of showing off with his bicep-flexing goal celebrations.

 

Phi Nguyen

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: DM

Current Club: La Tour/Le Pacquier (Swiss fifth tier)

Nationality: Swiss/Vietnamese

Age: 23

Height: –

 

Phi Nguyen may be playing in the Swiss fifth tier now, but he has also represented Switzerland at all youth levels up to U19, so he must be a decent player. Apparently comfortable in defence or midfield, a club like Port could certainly get something out of a player with this profile, although he would obviously have some work to do to get in to the starting XI. His highlight reel isn’t much to look at, but at least they’ve made an effort to show which player he is.

 

Kobe Jae Chong

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: CM

Current Club: Banbury Utd (English seventh tier)

Nationality: English/Malaysian

Age: 18

Height: 1.80m

 

This lad has packed a lot of clubs in to his young career. He’s only 18 and he’s already played in Italy, trialed in Portugal and represented a host of English clubs. He is apparently open to the idea of representing Malaysia in the future, so it might be an idea for a Thai club to bring him over for a trial and see what he can do. No harm in giving him a go. He looks pretty tidy in this highlight reel.

 


 

For inquiries about other players I’ve looked at in the research for this article, send me an email at earlsy@outlook.com