Anderlecht sign Albanian Superliga talent

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 17, 2018 13:05

Anderlecht sign Albanian Superliga talent

TIRANA, April 17 – Kristal Abazaj has been transferred to Belgian giants Anderlecht in a surprise move for the Albanian forward, considered one of the greatest talents of the Albanian Superliga.

The 21-year-old Luftetari striker has signed a three-year contract with Anderlecht for a reported €750,000 fee, in one of the most expensive transfers from the Albanian championship. However, three-quarters of the transfer fee goes to Albanian Superliga leaders Skenderbeu who signed the player last January but allowed him to play on loan at Luftetari for the second half of the season.

The sale operation comes at a time when Albanian Superliga leaders Skenderbeu have been given a ten-year ban and a €1 million fine by European football’s governing body, UEFA, over match-fixing. If upheld by Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, the severe punishment calls the future of Albania’s most successful club of the past decade into question.

Grown up as a player in Albania, Abazaj is considered one of the most promising talents, recently receiving his first call-up with the national side by Albania’s Italian coach Christian Panucci.

For Abazaj, Anderlecht, a club where former Albanian international midfielder Besnik Hasi played and coached, will be his first international experience. The player will reportedly earn €200,000 a season.

“Abazaj is considered one of the greatest Albanian talents. We are so happy that such a promising player has chosen Anderlecht and I am sure he will realize his full potential with us,” Luc Devroe, Anderlecht’s sporting director, said as quoted in a statement by Belgium’s most successful club.

Having scored nine goals for Luftetari this season, Abazaj says he looks forward to joining Anderlecht next summer.

“Anderlecht is a big name in European football and even in Albania. I am very happy to grow up in such a great club and look forward to joining them,” Abazaj said.

Back in 2015 soon after their debut Europa League group stage, Skenderbeu’s Nigerian striker Peter Olayinka was acquired by Belgian side Gent for a record €1.1 million fee in the Albanian championship but failed to impress. The 22-year-old now plays on loan at Zulte Waregem in the Belgian First Division A.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 17, 2018 13:05