x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Yousuf Abdullah will help shore up Al Nasr defence

Former Al Ahli goalkeeper brings additional expertise to the role at Al Nasr, although the new recruit is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up under new coach Ivan Jovanovic, writer John McAuley.

Goalkeeper Yousif Abdulla signed a one-year loan deal last month with Al Nasr having impressed in a similar arrangement at Ajman during the 2012/13 campaign. Mike Young / The National
Goalkeeper Yousif Abdulla signed a one-year loan deal last month with Al Nasr having impressed in a similar arrangement at Ajman during the 2012/13 campaign. Mike Young / The National

DUBAI // Al Nasr say the acquisition of Yousuf Abdullah is designed to provide their backline with some much-needed experience next season.

The Al Ahli goalkeeper signed a one-year loan deal last month with the Al Maktoum Stadium club, having impressed in a similar arrangement at Ajman during the 2012/13 campaign.

With Ajman, Abdullah featured in 18 Pro League matches and formed an integral component of the side that in May lifted the Etisalat Cup trophy only the second trophy in the club's 39-year history.

However, he decided to move to Dubai this summer, and will replace Abdullah Mousa, who takes the No 1 jersey at Emirates club.

The position represented something of a problem area for Nasr last season, with Walter Zenga, then the coach and formerly a goalkeeper of considerable repute, interchanging between Mousa and Ahmed Shambieh. Shambieh, 19, is considered a long-term prospect, as is Abdullah Ismail, 20. Ismail, though, played only one league game last season.

Abdullah, 27, therefore brings additional expertise to the role, although the new recruit is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up under Ivan Jovanovic, Zenga's successor.

"It's the call of the manager, who will look at the number of goalkeepers in our squad and then make his decision," said Fahad Hadi, a member of the Nasr board.

"Yousuf's a fine goalkeeper, and after the departure of Abdullah Mousa, we needed someone with a little bit of experience to come in.

"We have two quality young goalkeepers, but thought Yousuf can give that experience to the team for all the competitions we're entered into."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE