KOTA KINABALU: To further boost the frontline, Sabah have made a change in the current transfer window by signing the Guinea-Bissau national striker Jose Embalo to replace Neto Pessoa.
Sabah chief coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee said Pessoa, the striker from Brazil, was replaced following his decline in performance after sustaining an injury that took a long time to fully recover.
He said even though Pessoa succeeded in scoring a goal in the 2-1 victory against Sri Pahang on Saturday (June 18), there were several other aspects that caused the change in the striker.
“We are not saying that Neto’s performance has fallen sharply but we need to ensure all players, especially import members, should be in tip-top condition to play for Sabah.
“We need to think of the next move, so I made the decision to switch Neto with Embalo,” he said.
Kim Swee said Embalo has started training sessions with Sabah and he is confident the Portugal-born player would give a major impact to the team, especially in the frontline.
He said Embalo has the experience of playing in European leagues and hoped he would adapt to the rhythm of the squad apart from being compatible with the other players.
“We need to give Embalo some time ... he will not be fielded in the match against Selangor (June 28) as he had just arrived,” he said.
“We have several days more to ensure Embalo is at top fitness level before we send him into the pitch against Selangor or Negri Sembilan.”
The 29-year-old player has one cap with Guinea-Bissau on March 23 in a friendly match against Equatorial Guinea, scoring two goals in the 3-0 win for his country.
Embalo had also turned out for several clubs in Europe among them Portugal’s Beira-Mar and Rapid Bucuresti of Romania.
Meanwhile, in a social media sharing, Sabah confirmed acquiring winger Farhan Roslan from Kelantan.
The Kedahan, 25, fondly known as Kedah Messi had turned out for an international appearance with Harimau Malaya in 2019. — Bernama