While the 2020-21 Arabian Gulf League season is done and dusted, we are left with plenty of statistics and facts to review. Perhaps the most interesting fact is the drop in the players’ average age as more and more young players forged their way into the top-flight.
The 2020-21 season proved to be a breakthrough campaign for several youngsters with a host of promising young talent proving themselves and grasping the opportunity to showcase their skills and excel in a professional environment.
Ittihad Kalba’s Majed Rashed was among the players who managed to make a name for themselves this season. He made 24 appearances and cracked the 2000-minute mark. Besides scoring one goal and providing two assists, Rashed made 56 tackles in a promising season for the 21-year-old.
Tahnoon Al Zaabi also shone within Al Wahda ranks, as the 22-year-old took part in 20 matches, featuring for a total of 970 minutes. He had two goals to his name and assisted three. 19-year-old Hamad Ibrahim also put in promising performances, which saw him score a goal in five appearances and a total of 369 minutes of playing time.
Al Ain also had their share of promising young talents, as academy graduate Mohamed Abbas, 18, made seven appearances and scored one goal. His teammate Khalid Al Baloushi sealed a spot in the team’s squad after starting 13 games and making a total of 16 appearances, which saw him score a goal and assist three.
Ahmed AlHammadi shone within Al Dhafra’s ranks by starting 18 matches and featuring in 21 games overall. The 20-year-old made 125 ground duels and recovered the ball 89 times.
It was a season of wild achievement for Bani Yas’s Ahmed Abunamous, as the 21-year-old netted one of the best goals of the season against Sharjah and was involved in every league game but one while scoring four goals and assisting one.
Although Hatta couldn’t survive the relegation battle, they had some gifted young names in their squad. Omar Saeed, 22, featured in 14 games, including 10 starts, which saw him make 60 ground duels, recover the ball 50 times, and complete four key passes.
Al Nasr’s Hussain Mahdi, 20, took part in 14 games, playing a total of 417 minutes. He completed 238 passes and touched the ball 285 times.
Shabab Al Ahli had a crop of young talents in the 2020-21 season, including in-form Igor Jesus, who netted 12 goals and registered eight assists in 24 appearances. The Brazilian forward is 20 years old and is registered under the Resident Player category. When called into action, Hareb Abdulla, 18, also put in good performances.
Ali Saleh, 21, continued his fantastic form as he sealed his spot in Al Wasl’s line-up with 22 appearances, four goals, and four assists.
Champions Al Jazira had some excellent prospects within their squad, including Khalifa AlHammadi, 22, who made 25 appearances and scored two goals. He also made 164 ground duels, 62 tackles, and 144 recoveries. Mohamed Rabii (20), Abdulla Idrees (21), and Oumar Traoré (18) also managed to leave a mark with Al Jazira.
Abdullah Naser, 22, had plenty of game time with relegated Fujairah as he made starts in all 15 appearances. Meanwhile, Isam Faiz was an integral part of Ajman’s squad, featuring in 21 games, and Kouame Autonne made 20 appearances and displayed his abilities in Khorfakkan’s backline.