The wheeling and dealing has slowed down as most teams have snapped up their marquee signings. Vijhay Vick lists five foreign buys who could prove hits for their new sides next season.
Paulo Rangel (Johor Darul Takzim)
The 31-year-old is a proven goal scorer in the Malaysian Super League (MSL). His capture means more trouble for Johor Darul Takzim's (JDT) opponents, who already have his strike partner Jorge Pereyra Diaz to deal with.
As club owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim put it when announcing the signing: “Where Rangel goes, he scores goals.” The Brazilian is a penalty box predator and renowned for his eye for goals, yet is also fast and capable on the ball.
Rangel first set foot in Malaysia in April 2013 when he signed with Perak on loan from Thailand’s Muangthong United. He was an instant hit and Selangor duly came knocking in 2014. The poacher topped the MSL goalscoring charts with 16 strikes that year but soon fell out with the club’s management over late payment of bonuses, subsequently moving to Terengganu in 2015.
Rangel scored eight in his first 10 league games with the latter but missed the remaining 12 following a three-month ban for abusing match officials in the FA Cup semi-final loss to LionsXII. Like his days at Selangor, Rangel became disillusioned at Terengganu and had his contract mutually terminated while the Malaysia Cup was taking place in October.
Now truly handed his big break with champions JDT, however, Rangel will surely pick his battles more carefully and make terrorising opposition defences his primary focus.