PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby believe Croatian striker Mateo Roskam can solve their goalscoring woes.
Coach Ismail Zakaria said the team have conducted trials for several players but the 27-year-old Roskam was the one who won his heart.
The club have only scored 11 goals in 11 matches and have had to bank on local players for the goals after Ghanaian striker Wisdom Agblexo failed to impress.
The 27-year-old Agblexo struggled to impose himself after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up in training and went on to make two dismal appearances, failing to score a single goal for Sime Darby.
His disappointing form forced the team to look for a replacement.
The 1.87m Roskam started his career with NK Siroki Brijeg in the Bosnia Premier Division and last played for Slaven Belupo in the Croatian top division before signing for Sime Darby.
“The team struggled without an attacking outlet with Agblexo injured ... he later had trouble getting back into the team and we decided to replace him with a better player,” said Ismail on Tuesday.
“We tested several players and felt that Roskam best suits our requirements. He has an eye for goal, gels well with the local boys and, most importantly, works hard for the team.
“Our local boys are hungry for success and had been doing well, but we needed a foreign player who can complement our team and help us improve. Roskam showed his abilities in the trials, I hope that he will maintain his training form in the league.”
Ismail added that Roskam has received his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and will be available for the Super League match against defending champions Lions XII in Singapore on Saturday.
The club currently sit ninth in the 12-team Super League standings with 13 points from 11 games and are nine points adrift of leaders Pahang and five ahead of bottom-side Perak.
“We needed a reliable striker to lead the line. With this problem solved, I believe we are on the right track for survival in the Super League this season,” said Ismail.
“We played well but lost 2-0 to the Lions last week but the next game against them will be different with Roskam in the team.”