Where does newcomer Syamer Kutty fit into JDT

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Suhaimi Mohd/CSN
From a first choice berth in Penang, what could become of Syamer Kutty Abba in moving to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).

It would have both been an easy and a hard choice to make for 20-year-old Syamer in deciding to accept the offer from JDT. He would have seen the how in recent seasons, the players that have moved to the Southern Tigers and did not quite make the grade. But any player that doesn't back themselves to succeed should have no place in any team.

That should be the mentality within Syamer after concluding the move away from Penang. 2017 was a season of breakthrough for Syamer who was elevated to a starter in Penang by Ashley Westwood and continued to stay there despite the change of head coach to Zainal Abidin Hassan.

The rise of Syamer was just confined to domestic matches, but also at international level as before. But it his performances in the former that caught the eye of Ong Kim Swee to name him in his Malaysia Under-23 squad that achieved qualification to the 2018 AFC U23 Championship as well as finishing with the silver medal in the 2017 SEA Games.

His meteoric ascension continued with a place in the senior Malaysia team under Nelo Vingada. To date, Syamer has started two games with the senior team and has impressed but also been plagued with inconsistency. Something that constantly affects youngsters that remains a big part of his game that he will need to improve to compete in JDT.

GFX Syamer Kutty transfer

A midfielder by trade, Syamer is equally comfortable playing in the defensive or attacking role. His physique enables him to battle and win challenges on the defensive side but Syamer also possess the technical skills required to be a more combative box-to-box player that showcases his on-the-ball abilities. 

What Syamer lack is the creative instincts that could potentially confine his role in JDT to just two position in central midfield. The third midfield position that is currently occupied by Safiq Rahim is likely to remain off-limits to Syamer until he can develop that part of his game. Which leaves just the roles that are now taken by Natxo Insa and Gary Steven Robbat.

If fit, Insa will play all day long but Syamer becomes the option when a rest is needed for Insa. Comparatively, the gap is much closer between Syamer and Gary compared to Syamer and Insa but ultimately one which also see Syamer being less stronger player. The gap would be much bigger if and when Hariss Harun rejoins the team and takes over from Gary.

So it's going to be a big challenge for Syamer to fight for a place in the starting line-up. But he can take solace and motivation from the manner in which Afiq Fazail and Safawi Rasid has both shown that provided they impress in training as well as when they come into matches as substitutes, there's no reason for Ulisses Morais to leave them out.

By agreeing to the move, Syamer has shown his desire and courage to take on all those challenges. It's going to be a long and hard season for the gangly midfielder with the first team of four-time Super League champions, JDT.

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