Akhyar Rashid was announced as Johor Darul Ta'zim FC's latest new signing but there's still one more big slot waiting to be filled. Earlier captures of Mauricio and Aaron Niguez brought JDT's foreign imports to four with Hariss Harun and Gonzalo Cabrera retained, which meant there's one more place in the attacking role left open.
That slot might just be filled by Buriram United striker Diogo Luis Santo. At 31 year of age, Diogo is no spring chicken but will no doubt still have a few more good years in him at the very least and his experience at playing in the Champions League with Buriram will be vital to JDT's cause.
Joining the Thai club in 2015, Diogo came through the Portuguesa youth team before spending time in Olympiacos (Greece) and Palmerais. In the four seasons with Buriram, Diogo has already smashed in 132 goals from 158 games, that's an impressive 0.85 goals per game ratio.
With 45 assists to his name since his time there, Diogo also showed that he is more than just a typical striker with an eye for goal. At 6 feet, Diogo has the physical attributes to combine with his skills and could find the back of the net from either foot.
"As skillful as any top Brazilian player should be but with European physicality. He's smart, a good decision maker, isn't too selfish and very decisive. Pretty much something Adriano (former Inter Milan striker) should have become, except that Diogo does not possess the explosive left foot power as Adriano."
"He can be deployed as target man as well as shadow striker," said Thana Wongmanee, the Goal Thailand Chief Editor.
Last season JDT had a nightmare in their choice of import strikers with Luciano Figueora being coaxed back into playing but found it tough after two years out of the loop. Then Jorge Santos Silva was brought in but he was only given a handful of games before Fernando Marquez was asked to replace him in the squad.
At least with Diogo, the pedigree and quality of the player is known and it is much less of a gamble from than a Santos Silva or Marquez. Diogo is also a capable exponent from set piece situation and can be lethal from free kicks.
Goal understands that Diogo had already said his goodbyes to his team mates on New Year's Day but up to this point, JDT does not want to deny nor confirm that the Brazilian is heading to Johor Bahru.
But all signs are now pointing firmly to Diogo donning a different shade of blue for the 2019 season, and it's a matter of when, not if.
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