Albania international joins Spain’s Levante in surprise move

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 31, 2018 14:26

Albania international joins Spain’s Levante in surprise move

sadiku 2

Levante welcomed Sadiku with a poster reading Miresevini, the Albanian word for Welcome. "Armando Sadiku is a new player of #LevanteUD. The Albanian player comes from Legia Warsaw!" Levante wrote on social media

TIRANA, Jan. 31 – Albania’s best striker of the moment, Armando Sadiku, has been transferred to Levante in the Spanish top league in a surprise move following a lukewarm six-month spell with Poland’s reigning champions Legia Warsaw.

The 26-year-old Albanian international has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Spanish top league club for a reported transfer fee of about €1 million.

Sadiku is one of the reinforcements Levante has made in the January transfer window as the Valencia-based club is struggling just above the relegation zone and remaining in the La Liga is its top priority.

In addition to competition with Spain forward Ivi Lopez, Sadiku will also face competition from Italian Giampaolo Pazzini, the new Levante signing from Verona football club.

Sadiku will join Enis Bardhi, an ethnic Albanian who represents Macedonia internationally, at Levante, becoming the sole Albanian international to play in what is considered one of the world’s toughest leagues.

Rey Manaj is another Albanian international who plays in Spain's second division with Granada.

The Levante move is a turning point for Sadiku who has already joined the club's training and could make his debut this weekend as the Valencia-based club host giants Real Madrid who have been playing one of their worst seasons.

His transfer comes after only six months with Legia Warsaw and a six-year spell in Switzerland.

Sadiku, who was recently being used as a second-half substitute in Poland played 24 games for Legia since joining last July but scored only seven goals, four of which in the Polish Cup, one in the Champions League qualifying campaign and only two in 17 Polish league appearances.

The 26-year-old striker has scored 11 goals in 29 appearances with the national side helping Albania achieve a first-ever qualification in a major tournament such as Euro 2016. He also scored Albania’s sole goal in the Euro 2016 group stage games as Albania beat Romania 1-0 but failed to make it the knockout stage.

In last November’s friendly away to Turkey, Armando Sadiku scored a double to help 10-man Albania claim a surprise victory and increase his goal tally to 11. Last June, he also scored a brace as Albania avenged Israel’s first-leg home defeat with a 3-0 away victory.

Having started his career in his hometown of Elbasan, central Albania, Sadiku played in Switzerland for six years with clubs such as Zurich and Lugano before joining Legia Warsaw in July 2017.

Albania who were recently drawn against Scotland and Israel in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, will play Norway in a friendly on March 26.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 31, 2018 14:26