Farmer Bunnies head coach Dalibor Kostadinović
authorized the S$9.34 million acquisition of 21 year-old Thai wingback Xue Kangfang
this evening, as he seeks to reform the club's backline. Though a fair number of his fifteen caps for his national U-20 team were as a last minute substitution since his early debut versus Cameroon, Xue did score at youth international level in a 6-2 win against Mongolia, and would be a respected senior by the time he bowed out in a drawn match with the Maldives.
This record no doubt attracted Şenol Soylu, in charge of Latvian Division Four team FC RTU, who had just seen off two teenaged defenders, and was seeking a young yet relatively experienced example for the juniors at the club. Two Swiss sixth divisioners in FC Muzko and FC Delio would also place bids for bsv pantau's consideration, and the German V.251 club would accept them all together with the Buns' and left it to Xue to decide for himself.
It wasn't much of a choice for Xue, it seemed, thanks to his thirst for honours; he had won titles in each of his previous three seasons, one with bsv pantau and two before that in Australia with Division Five risers Uglyeagles, and he was eager get a taste of victory at a higher level. "I've always liked Singapore, and Bunnies are rebuilding something big. They are aiming for the S-League again, so I hear."
Xue will inherit the Number Five shirt owned by Aswad Mohd Jafni for the vast majority of the club's history, and he has pledged to live up to it. "Those are big boots to fill, but I will work hard to do so."
Kostadinović admitted that he had been chasing several other options too, including Iraq's Hikmat Awad and Romania's Barnabás Fekete, but their transfer fees of S$17 million and up had given him pause. "They were great players, indubitably, but was I willing to risk the bulk of our reserves on just one fellow? Not quite."
Mozambique's Jesus Vargues was in contrast a more economical choice, but he was assessed as being unlikely to have the versatility that Kostadinović so prized, and was eventually bought by former Danish Undercuppen winners TEAM PIMPONG for S$10.3 million. "He's a brick wall of a centreback, with a cannon of a left foot, but we were looking for players who would be comfortable wide too - and unfortunately, Vargues didn't seem like it in the end." Kostadinović commented.