Five MSL imports expected to leave Malaysia for good

Foreign players are often in high demand in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), and while some become big successes, others leave Malaysia after flattering to deceive. FourFourTwo lists five imports who are unlikely to remain in 2018...

MAMADOU DANSO

The big Gambian centre-back was expected be a rock at the back for Kelantan when he signed in January.

That was not to be the case as the Red Warriors ended up with among the worst defences in the MSL – only better than Penang, T-Team and Melaka United – as they toyed with relegation until the final day of the season.

One just needs to look back at the replay of Kelantan’s 5-0 defeat to Kedah in July to see how vulnerable Danso could be.

Danso did not impress in comparison to local centre-backs at Kelantan such as Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and S. Subramaniam. One just needs to look back at the replay of Kelantan’s 5-0 defeat to Kedah in July to see how vulnerable the 34-year-old could be.

Kelantan may have even replaced him in mid-season if they were not stuck in a financial mess and were imposed transfer sanctions by Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP).

SAHIL SUHAIMI

The Singapore international was a surprise mid-season signing for Sarawak, but it has not been a gamble which has paid off.

Sahil was signed to inspire the frontline with goals, but the 25-year-old struggled to consistently make the starting line-up, something foreign players are usually expected to do with ease.

Sahil's Sarawak were relegated

Sarawak were relegated on the final day of the season and the Crocs have already announced their intentions to feature an all-local side in 2018.

The MSL are expected to confirm an additional import slot for ASEAN players in coming weeks, but Sahil may not have done enough to convince other teams, having only scored one league goal.

NIGEL DABINYABA

There was a certain hype surrounding Dabinyaba's signing for Penang - becoming the first Papua New Guinea (PNG) footballer to play in MSL.

He had came to prominence after playing Malaysia twice in friendlies last year. Dabinyaba got on the scoresheet and convinced many with his pace despite Malaysia prevailing 2-1 winners at Shah Alam Stadium last November.

Dabinyaba could not replicate his international form in Malaysia

The MSL, however, proved too much to handle for the 25-year-old striker.

He picked up an injury that ruled him out of action in January and when he returned the following month, Penang were already looking like relegation candidates. Dabinyaba struggled to get started and failed to trouble defences as much as Penang coaches Ashley Westwood and then Zainal Abidin Hassan would have demanded.

[NEXT: Kelantan's final day hero and a Portugese winger]