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Five MSL imports who could face the exit as the transfer window looms

Foreign players are often the first one the chopping block as teams beef up their squads during the Malaysia Super League (MSL) transfer window. Here are five players could also leave soon - we're leaving out the likes of Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Luciano Figueroa, Ferdinand Sinaga, Bruno Lopes and Francis Forkey Doe who have either already left or are leaving mid-season…

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JUNIOR APARECIDO

Still only 28 years old, but Junior is looking like a shadow of the player that featured for Selangor in 2014 and Sarawak two years later.

The former Muangthong United attacking midfielder has performed for Kuala Lumpur in flashes but consistency has been an issue and he has lost some of his pace compared to when he first arrived at Selangor.

The City Hawks have shown they can play with the big boys after defeating Johor Darul Ta'zim and Kedah - their only two wins in six league matches - but it the results in other matches that may call for changes.

It is still unclear if KL coach Fabio Maciel would sanction the transfer considering the Brazilian connection, but it is an open secret that coaches may not necessarily make all the decisions in Malaysian football.

ALFONSO DE LA CRUZ

The Spanish defender was never expected to sign for Selangor after the club were initially content with four imports due to budgeting reasons.

Yet they made a U-turn and signed Cruz, expecting him to provide some steel by playing in a holding role. Then Selangor coach P. Maniam, who was sacked in March, probably wished they had got a better player.

Cruz looked a complete misfit in the defensive midfield role, and was even substituted after the half-hour mark in a 3-1 home defeat to Pahang.

Selangor are leaking goals defensively and have the worst record after conceding 15 times in six matches. They are through to the FA Cup semi-final but Nazliazmi Nasir could be tempted to make changes to save their MSL campaign.

ALVARO SILVA

Pablo Pallares was the one many expect to leave Kedah when the window opens. He was even put up for sale by fans on the Malaysia's version of eBay.

Yet Kedah’s frontline seems to have found their rhythm. The Red Eagles are the leading scorers in the MSL with 14 goals and Pallares now has three goals.

His compatriot Alvaro Silva, who holds a Filipino passport, however, hasn't quite helped Kedah steady the ship at the back. Kedah have conceded 12 goals in six matches, the second worst behind Selangor.

It may be a bit unfair considering Alvaro only played three of those matches but Kedah conceded eight in those games – including seven in two league matches.