Massoud Dob's replacement wasn't long in arriving at all, as Grilled Birds again shattered their transfer record, with their S$19 million acquisition of Latvian custodian Jānis Salmiņš
. The 28 year-old might not have tasted international action with Vinets Ilzēns and Semen Pyltsin entrenched for his country, but most commentators are in agreement that he is about their level.
This assessment is supported by the fact that Greek Division Two club diagorakla had paid a hefty S$26 million for him just four seasons ago, and while Salmiņš' performances have been instrumental in their rise from the fourth division, his hunger for trophies would lead to his departure. "I'm not about to be ashamed about my ambition." he wrote in a news release that wasn't taken wholly well by the diagorakla fans. "I have come a long way here, and wish the club all the best, but it's time to part."
The Birds were certainly not about to skimp on what might be the integral piece in their league and cup campaigns, and had reportedly been in serious discussions for former Uruguay Number One Braulio Chiade, but Peñarol Bahiense 1891's demand for close to S$25 million proved insuperable. Much the same went for Iraqi legend Nedim Al-Rammah, and linkages to Jordan's Ahmad Mahmad Abdel Mun'em, Poland's Ferdynand Szornak and Italy's Bruno Vetturi have gone defunct after Salmiņš's signing.
was well aware of the weight of expectation that Salmiņš would be under. "It was the same with Massoud Dob, when Noubaryan threatened to walk if he didn't get the S$16.3 million to sign him." the Grilled gaffer recounted. "Well, it's my turn, and I pray Jānis does the job - or both our necks are on the line!"