Nguyễn Next In
A journey to the Middle East and Europe had come full circle for Vietnamese fullback Nguyễn Văn Chương
, who leveraged it into six national caps and a Division Three title back home. BARCALONA RF's gamble on riding on his undoubted strengths to power a quick return to the V-League wouldn't materialize, however, and their Finnish gaffer would okay his transfer to the Farmer Bunnies for a steep S$15.2 million.
This just about topped the Buns' previous record for Morgan Hu, and if any assurance that the board were still supporting the club's desire to win things, this was it. "For me, Nguyễn completes the set.", Dalibor Kostadinović
said. "There's a ton of future upside in the squad now, but we need some ready-made reserves to tap - especially on the wings - and Nguyễn is as good as they come in his position."
Originally hailing from the now-defunct Thùy Anh, Nguyễn's raw hunger to succeed was legend even as a teenager, and this had him make headlines when he was picked up by Syrian multi-time champions Deir Mar Musa, on his first transfer. Sadly, Nguyễn would not make their exacting grade, but stints in Spain with S.D. Etxebarri and then Belgium with FC Westhoekers did wonders for his development.
That was enough for Hanoi V-League club Tô Ljch United, who took him home on a S$15.1 million offer, and while Nguyễn could not prevent United from getting relegated, his individual draw was enough for him to earn several call-ups to the national side. A brief name change to Văn Hậu would then be reverted when he then moved to BARCALONA RF, who were ultimately not living up to his expectations.
Kostadinović was confident that Farmer Bunnies could provide Nguyễn with the stage that he craved. "He wants trophies and recognition, and we do too, so it's a match made in heaven. At twenty-five, he can expect to be here for ten years or even more, which is plenty of time to build a legacy."