11 Potential ASEAN signings for Thai League
With regulations stating that each Thai Premier League team must have at least one ASEAN player from 2018 onwards — clubs will be encouraged to have at least one from 2017 but it will not be enforced on them — Thai clubs will be on the lookout for potential signings.
The AFF Suzuki Cup will be the greatest showcase for these players to catch the eyes of scout, but before then, FourFourTwo Thailand’s writers have already earmarked players who could probably make the mark.
Here are the 11 players who could possibly be playing in Thailand within the next two years.
Patino has nothing to prove in Thailand anymore, really, after being recognised as one of the best strikers to have ever graced the Thai League.
Half Spanish and half Filipino, Patino earn fame when he played for Buriram during the ‘Burirona era’. Joining the Thunder Castle in 2013, the striker helped Buriram claim back the league title after they had lost it SCG Muangthong United in 2012.
His arrival in Thailand could not have been better announced, with a brace against Muangthong on his debt.
He continued his rich vein of form and earned 14 goals from 20 appearances to finish fourth in the scoring charts that year, even though he was plagued by injuries.
His displays soon caught the eye of Henan Jianye, who shelled out 40,000,000 THB (US1.14 million) to sign him over.
The Philippines international netted 11 goals from 27 matches in his first season with Henan Jianye FC and has another 17 from 50 games this year.
Patino has publicly declared that he is happy to stay in China, but would not rule out a move back to Thailand.
At 28, the Azkals striker will meet the Asean quota ruling and have no lack of suitors should the opportunity come out about, but FFT Thailand believes he is actually good enough to be classified as an Asian player instead.