How, where and could Liridon fit in JDT's well-oiled midfield machine

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Liridon Krasniqi, Melaka United, Malaysia Super League, 16022019
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Is there a place in the incredible Johor Darul Ta'zim midfield for even someone like Liridon Krasniqi, Goal delves into that possibility.

The big Kosovan has been pictured training with JDT during their current pre-season and rumours are abound with Liridon joining the reigning Super League champions with the club owner HRH Tunku Mahkota Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahm, Regent of Johor not discounting the possibility of the midfielder being signed by his club.

The 27-year-old Liridon first introduced himself to Malaysian football when he signed for Kedah back in April 2015. Four more seasons would follow for him in the Super League with the last one being Melaka in the 2019 season. He only needs another four more months of being in the country to be meet the criteria to apply for a Malaysian passport.

FA of Malaysia (FAM) and Tan Cheng Hoe have revealed that they are keen to turn Liridon into a player they can rely on in the Malaysia national team and it would seemed that the player feels the same way. At the moment JDT have fulfilled their quote of import players with Hariss Harun, Gonzalo Cabrera, Leandro Velazquez, Diogo Luis Santo and Mauricio dos Santos.

Liridon Krasniqi, Melaka United, Safuwan Baharudin, Pahang, Malaysia Super League, Malaysia Super League, 16022019

But if and when Liridon gets his passport and can play in the domestic competition as a local player, it is only natural that a club like JDT will be interested to take up the 6ft 2in player into their roster. However with already a star-studded line-up in their midfield, would JDT even need Liridon and where would the best place to fit him in the team?

To see that, first we'll have to see how Benjamin Mora prefers his midfield shape to be. In a 4-3-3 formation, the midfield consist of three players and in recent times that has been Hariss Harun, Afiq Fazail and Leandro Velazquez with specific roles designated to every single one of the trio.

The captain Hariss operates at the base of that midfield with his primary function being the protector of the defence and it's a job that the Singaporean executes to almost perfection. Afiq is the metronome midfielder, one who recycles possession and acts almost like a conveyor belt in ensuring constant movement for the team. Leandro sits at the tip and allowed more creative freedom than the other two.

Afiq Fazail, Kedah v Johor Darul Ta

It would be impossible for Liridon to take the place of Hariss because of various reasons but also because that is simply not the former's attributes. As someone who's comfortable in possession and like to exchange passess with a team mate with the instinct to drive forward with and without the ball, Liridon would fit primarily either in Afiq's or Leandro's positions.

Yet the hurdles for Liridon is beyond those aforementioned. A returning Ignacio (Natxo) Insa would also be competition for the 'Afiq role', just like Syamer Kutty Abba would be. While Syafiq Ahmad and to a lesse extent, Nazmi Faiz Mansor would be his competitors for the 'Leandro role'. That is not to say Liridion would behind in these pecking orders because any player can play himself into form.

Competition drives improvement and it would be interesting to see if Liridon do join the mix at JDT and if that could force him to take his game to an even better level. With all the competitions that The Southern Tigers will be competing in the 2020 season, it would make sense to pad up their squad with Liridon. A possibility that ticks all the right boxes.

 

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