10 Possible Trequartistas for Singapore at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup

By On October 08, 2018

10 Possible Trequartistas for Singapore at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup

With Fandi Ahmad mentioning that he is on the search for a no. 10 for the Singapore national team, we look at 10 possible options for the Lions…

“We have enough depth on the flanks… now we’re looking for the no. 10.” Those were Fandi’s words after his side beat Fiji 2-0 for his maiden win as Lions tamer.

Yasir Hanapi and Shahdan Sulaiman were experimented as the no. 10s in Fandi’s first two matches in charge against Mauritius and Fiji, with mixed results to say the least.

So with Fandi admitting that he is still undecided on who will be Singapore’s Trequartista for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup, we look at 10 possible options…

Albirex Niigata (S) midfielder Adam Swandi

Adam Swandi

It has t aken him a bit of time since bursting onto the scene as a precocious 15-year-old in the 2011 Lion City Cup, but Adam is finally blossoming into the playmaker that Singapore can rely on for the next decade. While the Albirex Niigata FC (S) man has been deployed mostly on the wings in recent years, it is the no. 10 position in which he is most comfortable with. His nifty dribbling skills, sharp passes and ability to link up with the main forward will be a real asset. It will be interesting to see if he will be deployed in that role in the upcoming October friendlies.

Faris Ramli

Faris is more commonly known as a winger, but lest we forget â€" he was deployed as a roving no. 10 to devastating effect last year with Home United, accumulating 21 goals and as many assists under Aidil Sharin. Also utilised in that role on a few occasions with PKNS FC in the Malaysian Super League this season, it is bewildering why the 26-year-old has not been given more opport unities to play through the middle at the international level previously. Let’s see if things will change under coach Fandi…

Shahril Ishak

At 34, Shahril is rolling back the years in his recent recall to the Lions setup. The Home United star is proving that he is still one of the best forwards that Singapore have at their disposal at the moment. His intelligent off-the-ball runs and awareness in the attacking third was evident in the Lions’ recent 1-1 draw with Mauritius, during which he superbly teed up Ikhsan Fandi for the latter’s first international goal. With Fandi’s decision to focus on youth, the veteran playmaker may have to be contented with making an impact off the bench. But surely it will be a travesty if he is left out of the eventual AFF Suzuki Cup squad.

Shahdan Sulaiman

It was not the best of displays when he started just behind Ikhsan in the 2-0 win over Fiji, but nonetheless Shahdan is still one of the most gifted local playmakers around right now. At his best, the languid 30-year-old is the perfect foil for a centre-forward â€" with his fondness to exchange quick passes or play the killer pass. Surely he deserves another audition in the no. 10 role in the upcoming friendlies.

Yasir Hanapi

He looked more effective when shifted to the right wing against Mauritius, but Yasir remains a viable option in the no. 10 role. While he may not be the most creative of players, the 29-year-old provides another kind of threat with his direct runs through the middle that often drags a few players out of position â€" which in turns creates space for the main forward to score. The stats do not lie as well â€" with only one player (Adi Said) having more assists in the SPL this season than him (joint-second with eight).

< img src="https://www.foxsportsasia.com/tachyon/2018/05/Hougang-midfielder-Shahfiq-Ghani.jpg?resize=1024,683" alt="Hougang midfielder Shahfiq Ghani"/>

Shahfiq Ghani

After torrid luck with injuries over the past few years, Shahfiq is some sort of a forgotten man at the moment. However being just 26, there is ample time for the talented left-footed attacker to turn things around and put himself back in contention for the Lions. When he is in the groove, he can be absolutely unplayable â€" just look at the hat-trick of assists which he delivered for Hougang United in their 3-3 draw against Home United earlier in May and did you see his stunning free-kick against Albirex? If he can stay fit, he definitely has a lot to offer as a no. 10 with his vision and ability to link up with the main forward.

Fareez Farhan

For the longest time, fans have lobbied for Fareez to be called up to the Singapore national team and it is n ot hard to see why. With the technical ability to create and score goals, the 24-year-old can be a vital attacking component for Singapore in the future â€" if not now. More known as a winger, he has been experimented as a support forward for Hougang in the past couple of years and that could be a position where he could find a breakthrough for Singapore.

Safuwan Baharudin

It has been done several times before and it is still a good option to consider. While Safuwan may not be a creator like Adam or Shahdan, he is extremely useful when it is required to go Route One â€" with his ability to knock down long balls and create space for the other attackers to score. Fandi had hinted that the 27-year-old will start in defence for the Suzuki Cup, but do not bet on him being redeployed as a support striker in times of need.

Gabriel Quak

Quak has evidently matured as a player since joining Navy FC at the start of the year and he showcased that with a sparkling display against Fiji recently. Deployed as a right winger, he regularly came inward with a number of forceful runs and it was his superbly measured ball over the top that set up Ikhsan for the second goal. With his new-found confidence as a creator, it is perhaps a good time to test out the 27-year-old in a more advanced role behind the centre-forward.

Saifullah Akbar

Okay this is a wild punt. However as Singapore looks to build a team for the future, one of the options they can perhaps look at is Saifullah. Slowly finding his way back into professional football after two years of military service, the technically-gifted 19-year-old is one of the few up-and-coming playmakers of the next generation. Should he get more minutes under his belt and continue his upward trajectory, he sh ould find himself in the Singapore national team in the near future.

Source: Google News Singapore | Netizen 24 Singapore

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