21 year-old Grilled Number 21 Iman Eshrafi
left for Colombian fourth division side Tacita de Plata F.C for S$9 million today. The forward joins Romanian midfielder Florin Enea, who cost S$11.8 million from SF Bogotá 38 CF, and will be competing for a starting spot at the head of Tacita's fluid 3-5-2.
Eshrafi, who settled at the Birds after a period of club-hopping as a rookie professional, was not especially forthcoming about the unexpected move. "All I will say is that it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make."
Word on the street is however that the Iranian had been unhappy about falling back down the pecking order after the arrivals of Bilal Mohammad Harun
and Vikram Mudaliar
, and had been unable to extract assurances about playing time from Hovaness Noubaryan
. Indeed, he had only managed a single competitive start in the first half of the current season, plus a brief three minute cameo against Red Chaos.
Teammate Chan Ze Han
was sad to see Eshrafi go. "We've been training together for four years now, and he's always been very helpful with trying out new tricks. I can understand why he had to leave, but it remains a loss to the squad."