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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Al Wasl expect striker Edgar Bruno to help club ‘be one of the big four in the league’

Al Wasl believe the former Al Shabab striker, signed Wednesday on a free transfer, will help return the club to former glories.
Edgar Bruno in action last season for Al Shabab. Adil Alnaimi / Al Itttihad
Edgar Bruno in action last season for Al Shabab. Adil Alnaimi / Al Itttihad

DUBAI // Al Wasl insist Edgar Bruno can spearhead their bid for silverware next season following his free transfer from Al Shabab.

The Brazilian striker, 28, finalised a two-year deal at the Zabeel Stadium early Wednesday before departing immediately to join up with his new teammates at their training camp in the Netherlands.

Bruno had spent three largely successful seasons at Shabab, scoring 37 goals in 70 top-flight appearances to help fire the Dubai club to successive top-five finishes. Last season, he managed to find the net only eight times, but still registered nine assists as Shabab came home third.

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Bruno completes Wasl’s foreign contingent for the 2015/16 campaign, joining compatriots Caio and Fabio Lima — Lima now qualifies as Asian by virtue of his Uzbek passport — and Hugo Viana in an all-Portuguese speaking quartet. He replaces Ederson, who departed last week for Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol.

“We know Edgar’s qualities, that he’s going to do a good job for us,” said Majed Obaidallah, the Wasl team manager. “We believe he is the one to really help us in the future.

“He’s a strong striker inside the box, has good control and technique, and can also hold up the ball when we counter-attack. So he gives a lot of options, which is why the coach wanted him. We expect him to be a great addition to the team.”

Wasl are convinced the fact Bruno knows the players and the Arabian Gulf League well will also ease his transition, with the club seeking an improvement on last season’s performance.

Gabriel Calderon succeeded Jorginho as coach in October and guided Wasl to 34 points from 21 matches to guarantee sixth spot in the table — the seven-time UAE champions’ finest campaign in five years. Next season, though, Wasl aim to reestablish themselves as one of the country’s foremost sides.

“Last season we had a good team, but unfortunately we didn’t have good luck with injuries and players on national service,” Obaidallah said. “But this is football. However, we hope next year will be better, that everything is in place to provide smooth results.

“Of course, we need to be one of the big four in the league. This is the dream we must have, and also to win the President’s Cup and Arabian Gulf Cup. We want to compete in all of the tournaments. Edgar will definitely give us a better chance to do that.”

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