Several European clubs have begun to pay attention to South-East Asian prospects, starting with Indonesian Arthur Irawan's move to Espanyol last year. Here are a few more
By Eric Noveanto | South-East Asian Football Writer
There have been several players from South-East Asia who have already tried their luck abroad, although most have only played for lower clubs around Europe. The latest was Indonesian youngster Syamsir Alam who joined Belgian second tier club CS Vise in early January. However, one of the biggest moves last year came when Arthur Irawan signed a deal with Espanyol.
Beyond that, there has been plenty of speculation again during January with Indonesia's rising star Andik Vermansyah being linked to Portuguese giants Benfica and Porto, Vietnamese star Le Cong Vinh scouted by English side Everton, while Myanmar starlet Kyaw Ko Ko reportedly received an offer to trial with Germany's club Nurnberg.
Based on their current performances, Goal.com take a look at five players who European clubs should took a look at, and consider making a move for this January;
|TEERASIL DANGDA | Thailand & Muang Thong United, Striker, 23
The flamboyant striker is one of the best in Thailand at the moment. Many people have labelled him as the successor of Thai footballing legend Kiatisuk Senamuang. Dangda's experience in Europe, with the player enjoying brief spells at Manchester City and Grasshopper as a youngster, could prove valuable despite the fact he failed to shine abroad. Dangda's riveting appearances with Muang Thong and the Thailand national team in recent years concluded that he was ready to make the step-up and begin a career abroad.
|NAZMI FAIZ | Malaysia & Harimau Muda B, Midfielder, 17
Cardiff City are looking to strengthen their ties with Malaysia by forging a deal that could see Nazmi Faiz head to the Bluebirds for a one-year stint. While he might not be able to sign permanently, the stint is likely to open up better opportunities in Europe with the 17-year-old midfielder being touted as one of the brightest talents in the region. Cardiff boss Malky Mackay was even down in Malaysia last week, assisting their Malaysian owners' efforts in forming a solid collaboration for the club in the nation.
|KYAW KO KO | Myanmar & Zeyar Shwe Myay, Striker, 19
The Myanmar striker is considered one of the hottest young prospects. Recently he reportedly received an offer from German club Nurnberg and with this recognition,he could prove to be capable of being a clinical striker for the Myanmar national team after the era of Yan Paing. His best skills are his speed and good finishing, which were on show during the 2011 SEA Games where he scored five goals in seven appearances. He was also awarded the best Myanmar football player in 2011 award.
|ANDIK VERMANSYAH | Indonesia & Persebaya 1927, Midfielder, 20
The Indonesian rising star is currently regarded as the big prospect in the Merah Putih national team due to his skills and impressive performances recently. Many pundits have hailed him the "Indonesian Messi" due to his similar physical stature and style of play. The 20-year-old hit the Portuguese media headlines when Benfica and Porto revealed an interest to sign him in early January. Another enquiry came from Italian newly-promoted club Novara, who are looking to link the player up with their Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto.
|LE CONG VINH | Vietnam & Hanoi FC, Striker, 26
The Vietnamese "Golden Boy" is widely regarded as one of the best strikers the South-East Asian nation has ever produced. Vinh also became the second Vietnamese footballer to play overseas after Le Huynh Duc, when he had a stint with Portuguese club Leixoes on loan. In early January, Everton's Asian talent scout Steve Darby was discovered to be in Vietnam to observe Vinh. Darby also admitted that the Hanoi FC striker was one of his targets during the Asian trip.
Follow Eric Noveanto on