AGL title chasers Al Wasl strengthen squad with South Korea centre-back Oh Ban-suk

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Arabian Gulf League title hopefuls Al Wasl have snapped up South Korea’s World Cup 2018 centre-back Oh Ban-suk from Jeju United.

The Cheetahs have spent the last month attempting to procure an Asian-qualified player to bolster their suspect defence ahead of a renewed assault on the UAE’s top flight, plus the 2019 AFC Champions League. A deal was wrapped up on Thursday afternoon for the 30-year-old, who will take Brazilian playmaker Ronaldo Mendes’ spot in the foreign quartet after a season-long loan was agreed with promoted Fujairah at the same time.

Oh’s club career had until now been played out exclusively at Jeju, for whom he’s struck seven times in 198 K League 1 appearance since debuting during April 2012. He was a non-playing member of the Taeguk Warriors squad taken to Russia earlier this summer, with his two international caps coming in the tournament warm-ups against Honduras and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Oman’s former Al Jazira centre-back Mohammed Al Musalami, 28, had been linked to the Zabeel Stadium-outfit.

Oh is unlikely to be risked for Friday’s tantalising clash at Al Wahda. This match sees last term’s runners-up host the third-placed finishers – and is a repeat of the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf Cup final.

New Cheetahs boss Gustavo Quinteros has demanded an elite defensive signing since the end of the club’s European training camp in early August.

His charges have only conceded once in two AGL matches, a 1-1 draw with promoted Bani Yas. But they shipped three goals to Wahda during the international break in the AG Cup.

The departing Mendes joined Wasl from Brazil’s Comercial Vicosa in July 2016. He struck 11 times in 45 AGL run-outs.

The ex-Santos loanee is likely to replace French midfielder Omar Kossoko in the Wolves’ non-Emirati contingent.

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