x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The Olympics are a premier chance for Omar Abdulrahman to shine

His performance in the Olympic qualifier, in addition to his pint-size stature and his wand of a left foot, invited comparisons with David Silva, Manchester City's Spanish maestro.

Omar Abdulrahman, left, scored the only goal of the Olympic qualifier against Australia.
Omar Abdulrahman, left, scored the only goal of the Olympic qualifier against Australia.

Al Ain will be apprehensive about Omar Abdulrahman, their impish playmaker, strutting his stuff at the Olympics with the national team.

Firstly, the club's back-room staff are keen for their prized Emirati asset to be handled with kid gloves as he has already had two cruciate ligament injuries by the age of 20.

Secondly, should Abdulrahman produce the kind of mesmerising display he did against Australia last week he will have predatory scouts of English and European clubs furiously jotting down notes and banging down the team dressing room door to find out more about the Riyadh-born forward of Yemeni descent.

Espanyol apparently failed in a deal to sign him three years ago. Al Ain can expect a summer of fielding calls from bigger fish than the Spanish club if Abdulrahman plays to his potential in London.

A repeat of the brinkmanship between Al Wahda and Lyon over Hamdan Al Kamali can be expected.

Lyon's protracted pursuit of Al Kamali was surprising as, on at least two occasions this season, he has not even been the best defender in his club side - Mohammed Al Baloushi beating him to that accolade - let alone the hottest prospect in the country. That garland is the preserve of Abdulrahman.

His performance in the Olympic qualifier, in addition to his pint-size stature and his wand of a left foot, invited comparisons with David Silva, Manchester City's Spanish maestro.

Some at Al Ain believe Abdulrahman is good enough to join Silva in the Premier League and, on the evidence of last Wednesday, it is hard to disagree.

kaffleck@thenational.ae