Al Jazira shore up defence with Kosanovic signing - GulfToday

Al Jazira shore up defence with Kosanovic signing

Milos-Kosanovic

Defender Milos Kosanovic arrives at Al Jazira with plenty of experience in the Polish and Belgian Leagues, and in his native Serbia.

Al Jazira have completed the signing of Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic from Belgian Club Standard Liege. The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will join up with his new team-mates in Abu Dhabi ahead of the start of the 2019-20 season.

Kosanovic arrives at Al Jazira with plenty of experience in the Polish and Belgian leagues, and in his native Serbia. The versatile defender made his professional debut for Mladost Apatin in Serbia before moving to Cracovia Krakow in Poland. He later switched to Belgian giants Standard Liege, featuring 22 times before moving to Goztepe on loan.

His talent has seen him represent Serbia U-21 level as well as the senior national team squad.

With the acquisition of Kosanovic, it’s been a remarkable couple of weeks for Al Jazira who have strengthened their squad this summer with six new signings.

Experienced midfielder Sultan Al Ghaferi, Moroccan attacking forward Mourad Batna, UAE national team stars Omar Abdulrahman and Amer Abdulrahman as well as Brazilian forward Keno have all arrived at The Pride of Abu Dhabi and the signings have stirred yet more excitement amongst fans ahead of the start of the new season.

Ayed Mabkhout Al Hajeri, CEO and board member of Al Jazira Football Company said: “Our vision is to always strive in being successful and to make sure that Al Jazira is a leading sporting club in the UAE and across the region. The signing of Kosanovic is part of our ambitious football project and he will certainly strengthen the first-team squad as we compete in the local and regional competitions for the new upcoming season.”

Kosanovic said he is thrilled to have joined Al Jazira. He said: “I am really excited to start my new journey with Al Jazira Club and to play in the UAE.

“Al Jazira has a rich history and has a strong reputation in Europe with former Juventus star Mirko Vucinic among the super stars to have played for them. The club has also been coached by amazing managers including Jurgen Streppel, who is an excellent coach and has great knowledge of the game.”

He added: “I am proud that Al Jazira has chosen me to be part of their ambitious and wonderful football project. I pledge to the management, the fans and my new team that I will use all my skills and expertise to help the club be successful and compete strongly in all competitions next season.”

Last season, Al Jazira had got off to a perfect start in the Arabian Gulf League. However, they failed to keep the momentum going as they finished off their campaign in fifth place with 45 points.

After remaining unbeaten for 11 games, they succumbed to their first defeat of the season in matchweek 12 when they lost 3-2 to Al Dhafra.

After earning eight wins, four draws and a defeat, the Abu Dhabi-based side finished off the first half of the season on 28 points.

A drastic turn of events in the second half of the season saw Al Jazira fall to two defeats in their first four matches after the restart.

A top-four finish seemed improbable after they fell to two consecutive defeats to Al Wasl and Al Wahda in matchweeks 22 and 23. The Pride of Abu Dhabi, however, kept fighting for an AFC Champions League spot up until the final matchweek.

Despite their efforts, they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Al Nasr to finish off in fifth place on 45 points and miss their chances of playing continental football next season.