Yassine Meriah has joined Al Ain from Turkish club Caykur Rizespor.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
The UAE football club Al Ain bolstered their squad with the signing of Tunsia international Yassine Meriah on Wednesday. The Tunisian joined the UAE football powerhouse on a two-year deal, it was announced by the club on their Twitter.
Al Ain , who have won the Arabian Gulf League for a record 13 times made their intents clear with the signing of the another international player during the summer transfer.
Meriah also exuded his delight on joining Al Ain, saying: “It is always a great pleasure to join a big club. But with that comes a great responsibility,” said Meriah.
“You have to adapt yourself to the situation and win trophies for them to live up to the expectation of the fans and club.
“I am glad to be making my Asian debut with Al Ain, who are one of the best clubs in Asia. Many of my national team colleagues have already played at Al Ain,” he added.
After starting his career in local a club Tunisian club, soon Meriah scaled new heights and relocated to Europe, where he plied his trade with Greek and Turkish clubs. He was also a main cog of Tunisian team at the Russai World Cup in 2018.
Al Ain who have most number of AGL titles have not been able to create the same magic in the last few seasons.
Al Ain, who are the winners of the inaugural of Asian Champions League (ACL), finished sixth in the AGL in the last season having procured 41 points with 11 wins. Eight draws and seven losses.
To launch their title with the full throttle, the Boss are adding tooth to their attack as well as bolstering their defence.
They also hired Sergei Rebrov as their new coach for the 2021-22 season. The Ukrainian has been at the helm of the affairs at the Hungarian club Ferencvaros.
He steered them to three titles and led the team to the Champions League group stages for the first time. With his acumen and knowledge of the game, he is considered as one of the shrewdest coaches around.
Al Ain former coach Pedro Emanuel was sacked in the middle of the season following their worst run in the AGL in seven years.
After the arrival of the Rebrov, Al Ain witnessed a turn around and notched up some victories toward the fag end of the season.
However, new season will bring new challenges for the Ukrainian, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the glory days back.
Not only Al Ain, but all the UAE football clubs are busy buying new players to boost their squad during the summer transfer window before the new season.
Recently, Sharjah pulled of a major coup by roping in Everton winger Bernard from the English Premier League for two seasons.
But Sharjah did not stop there but went on rope in more recruits for the new season. They also brought Congolese footballer Ben Malango to the club.
Before arriving to Sharjah, Malango was plying his trade in the African League. He recently won the African Confederation Cup with Raja. The Moroccan champions lifted the title twice in four years as they defeated Kabylie 2-1 in the final.
Earlier, owing to stellar performance under the Emirati coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari, Sharjah began their title defence in style and were unbeaten until the ninth round in the last season.
But a sudden slump in form, coupled with a few injuries to their frontline players prompted a series of defeats as a result of which they slipped from the top position.
They could never recover from there on and finished the season on the fourth spot behind Shabab Al Ahli and nine points adrift of the champions Al Jazira.
Laba Kodjo was on the target twice as Al Ain defeated Al Wahda 4-0 at Al Nahyan Stadium in matchweek 20 of the Arabian Gulf League on Friday.
Ronaldo Mendes' was on target goal as Al Wasl rallied to hold Al Ain for a 1-1 draw at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in matchweek 19 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Saturday.
Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel was delighted after a 1-0 victory against Al Wahda in their Arabian Gulf League (AGL) match on Friday. Rayan Yaslam was on target as Al Ain eked out a narrow victory against Al Wahda.
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