Al Jazira sign South African Serero on two-year deal - GulfToday

Al Jazira sign South African Serero on two-year deal

Al Jazira sign South African Serero on two-year deal

Thulani Serero becomes the sixth signing of the Pride of Abu Dhabi during the summer transfer window.

Al Jazira have completed the signing of South Africa international midfielder Thulani Serero from Vitesse Arnhem.

The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will join up with his new team-mates in Abu Dhabi ahead of their match against Shabab Al Ahli in the second matchweek of the Arabian Gulf Cup (AGC).

Serero arrives at Al Jazira with plenty of experience in the Netherlands and in his native South Africa. The midfielder came through the ranks before making his professional debut at Ajax Cape Town, scoring 17 goals in 63 appearances. He later switched to Dutch giants Ajax, featuring 88 times before moving to Vitesse Arnhem.

His talent has seen him represent South Africa at U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels as well as the senior squad, winning 38 caps after making his debut in 2011.

Serero is the latest star to join Al Jazira this summer with the Pride of Abu Dhabi strengthening their squad with top international and national team players. Among the players to sign for Al Jazira are UAE stars Omar Abdulrahman, Amer Abdulrahman, experienced midfielder Sultan Al Ghaferi, Moroccan forward Mourad Batna, Brazilian attacker Keno and Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic.

The reinforcements reflects Al Jazira’s ambitions to be a competitive force when they line up during the new season.

Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Al Jazira Football Company said: “Serero is an exceptionally talented player who has plenty of experience of playing in the top-level.

“With his skills and abilities, we are confident that he will not only strengthen Al Jazira’s squad for the upcoming season but also play a vital role that will help the club be successful.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the club’s leadership for their on-going support and long-term vision that has allowed Al Jazira to sign top quality international and national team players during this transfer market.

“We are confident that Al Jazira will rise to the challenge and make the fans and the whole club proud.”

Serero expressed his excitement in joining Al Jazira. He said: “I am thrilled to be joining Al Jazira in this next chapter of my career. The club has built a strong squad that can compete in all competitions and to be part of Al Jazira is a real privilege.

“To play alongside many talented UAE national team players and international stars is something that I am looking forward to and I assure the fans that I will give my best in all of our matches.”

He added: “Al Jazira has a rich history with African legend George Weah among the great stars to have played for this club. Al Jazira also has a strong reputation in the Netherlands with former Dutch star Phillip Cocu among the legends to have played for them.

“I am excited to be working under another great Dutch coach in Jurgen Streppel. With his ideas and coaching philosophy together as a team we can help Al Jazira be a competitive side.”

Meanwhile, Al Dhafra is one club who have made wholesale changes to their squad during the summer transfer. Al Dhafra have made quite few changes to their new-look squad during the summer transfer window. They also recruited three new foreign players to complete their foreign quartet ahead of the new season. However, Al Dhafra also sharpened their attack by bringing in centre-forward João Pedro and attacking mid-fielder Diego Jardel from Saudi outfit Al Fateh and Qatari club Al Arabi respectively on free transfers.

Right winger Mikhail Rosheuvel is the other foreign addition to the team, who comes from Dutch club NAC Breda. He has been handed a two-year contract that expires in 2021.

Unheralded foreign additions are regularly recruited by the clubs during the summer and winter transfer windows via unscrupulous recommendation. And, at times, few of them do not even last until the new season’s kick-off.

They also procured attacking midfielder Amran Al-Jassasi from Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah on free transfer as well.

Among the other notable local talents, who will feature in the Al Dhafra colours in the new season are defenders Rashed Muhayer of Al Ain, Masoud Sulaiman of Al Nasr and goalkeeper Ibraheem Al Kaabi of Fujairah. Al Dhafra also off-loaded as many as seven players, to curb their spending and maintain their balance sheets.

Yaser Al Junaibi, Nicolás Milesi, Diego, Ibraheem Alawi, Hasan Al Hammadi and Rômulo are the few names who have been sent to the other clubs either on free transfer or load.

Al Jazira are well known for supporting the home-grown talents, and the club has the best football academy in the country; one of the academy top graduates is Ali Mabkhout, the historical goal scorer of Al Jazira, and the top scorer of the Asian Cup 2015.

Al Jazira Club has a rich and successful history, winning the Federation Cup in 2006, The Gulf Clubs Championship in 2007, as well as the Etisalat Cup in 2009-2010. 

Al Jazira also clinched the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) in 2011 and repeated the feat in 2017. Their three President’s Cup successes were achieved in 2011, 2012 and 2016, while they also finished fourth in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.