TAT SPORTS EXCLUSIVE: GAMBIAN FOREIGN-BASED PLAYERS’ JANUARY WINTER TRANSFER WRAP 2024

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The January transfer window saw some highs and lows with the remarkable transfer of Haruna Rasid Njie, Adama Sidibeh to Scotland and Pa Omar Jobe been unveiled by Simba SC in Tanzania as some of the major highlights.

Gambian prospect Omar Jarju signed a four-year contract with AC Horsens, becoming the third local-based player after Mustapha Jah and Adama Bojang to sign a direct contract from the Gambia.

James Gomez returned to the Danish Superliga to bring the total number of Gambian players in Denmark to eight. Gomez, who featured in all games for the Scorpions in AFCON 2023, played 43 matches in the Superliga during his stint with AC Horsens. James move to Czech giants Sparta Prague didn’t materialized and he had to return. James has already gotten straight to business as he joined Odense’s Winter Camp in Spain.

In summer 2023, Yaya Bojang was signed by Odense U19 to join the reserve team and went on to play 10 games for the U19. In January 2024, after nine months in Denmark, the club trigged the buyout option and offered him a permeant contract that will see him stay with the Striped until the summer of 2027. The young, versatile defender from Real de Banjul is promoted straight to the A-team.

Both Ebou Adams and Ebrima Darboe were sent on loan; the duo sat out the whole of last season with injury and thus returned to active play, with Adams playing 13 games for Cardiff and Darboe playing eight games for LASK, two of them in the Europa League matches against Liverpool and Toulouse. Darboe joins Sampdoria till the end of the season with an option to buy.

Adams joined Cardiff on a free transfer from Forest Green Rovers, where he made 121 appearances. His stay in Cardiff was marred by injury, and he acted as an understudy for captain Joe Ralls. The versatile midfielder will be hoping to get his form with Derby County in League One and return to his parent club.

With Maudo Jarju’s contract with Elfsborg up in the air, Abdoulie Manneh has arrived at Strandvallen, and he will join Jesper Ceesay as Gambians playing in the Allsvenskan. Manneh signed a 3-year contract with Mjällby AIk.

Manneh left the shores of the Gambia in the early weeks of the first round of the league.

 

Football pundit and scout Hamadi Kebbeh says that he had always wished Manneh played abroad.

” I have always said this in the past two years: someone should take Ablie Manneh from the Gambia; he is more of the Wijnaldum type, a similar type of footballer. He is one of the best number 10 players in the league; he assists and scores goals. That’s why Wallidan is struggling right now. Mjällby is a great player,” Kebbeh mentioned.

Haruna Rasid Njie became the latest U20 player to make a move. His move to FRS in Lativa brings the number of players in the Gambia U20 squad to sign a professional contract to 14. Njie had a short stint with BST Galaxy before going abroad.

Bubacarr Tambedou returned to Paide after a successful loan deal with FC Sheriff in Moldova. His return saw him score six goals in 11 league matches. At the age of 22, Tambedou is a proven winner, already winning three trophies, two with Sheriff FC. Finally, the 21-year-old signed a 2.5-year contract with Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

Ebrima Jatta has joined KF Dukagjini, a Kosovo Super league side. Jatta moved to Klina after a stint with Seven FC in Armenia. Jatta, a former Real de Banjul forward, played for Ittihad Kalba FC in the UAE.

Alasana Jatta has been heavily linked with a move away from Energy Park, and it was League Two side Notts County who signed Alasana Jatta on a 2,5-year contract for an undisclosed fee. Jatta played for Paide in 2018 and carved a niche for himself when he scored 13 goals in 17 matches. He earned a move to Viborg, where he went on to play 105 matches and scored 25 goals.

Adama Sidibeh made the biggest move in the January window. “Addo” moved from Warrington Rylands (Northern Premier League Premier Division) to join Scottish side St. Johnstone. The Saints sit in 9th place in the Scottish Premiership. The 25-year-old was the Blues leading goal scorer prior to his move, having scored 16 goals in 30 appearances.

Alfusainey Gassama has already scored 10 goals in the first round of the season with Masfout Club has now joined Dibba FC, who want to return to the topflight. Gassama is a versatile midfielder.

Pa Omar Jobe is set to follow in the footsteps of great Simba strikers like Emmanuel Okwi (20 goals), Meddie Kagere (23), John Bocco (16), and Saidi Ntibazonkiza (17 goals), but more important is to win the league that has eluded them in the last two years and has been won by Young Africans SC. Jobe’s goal-scoring record has made him a household striker, scoring 23 goals in 28 matches with Sheikh Jamal; with FC Zhenis Astana, scoring 13 goals in 25 matches; all of these were preceded by when he won the golden boot in Senegal in 2019.

“Simba SC is one of the best clubs here; they are competing in the continental showpiece. All these motivated me. I will work hard. I have no pressure, if you put pressure on yourself it will be difficult , if I  combined my experiences and the different clubs I play it makes be relaxed now.” Jobe indicated

Lamin Saidykhan, who was First Division Player of the Season in 2021/2022, has signed a one-year contract with Angolan side Kabuscorp.

Bakary Kuyateh signed a one-year deal with Inter Nouakchott of Mauritania in Mauritanian top-flight football. Kuyateh previously played for AS Pompier.

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Baboucarr Fallaboweh Sports Editor (Buba Jallow Fallaboweh) is a Gambian football expert, football analyst & columnist. The Stockholm-based Journalist is a media officer, football Scout, PR, Influencer and Digital creator. I started my journalism career as a football analyst in 2012 with Vibes FM and went on to work with CityLimit, West Coast, Hot FM, Freedom Radio, Eye Africa and Afri Radio as a content producer and presenter. In 2013, I attended Football Daily on the BBC SPORTS where we discussed the different styles of Football played in Africa. I Went on to freelance for The Point Newspaper, Freedom Newspaper, Daily Observer and Standard Newspaper before being appointed as Sports Editor with the Alkamba Times in March 2022.  I have worked for Magazines like Glo Magazine and Foot54 covering Gambian football and African Football.   Between 2020 -2021 I worked as a scout for the Gambia Football Federation, scouting talents for the U17 &U20.  From 2017 to 2021, I served as Media officer for GFF First division teams Team Rhino and Marimoo and also as media Officer of Banjul FC, fourth Division tier in Sweden and Darboe’s FC (Female second division club in the Gambia). I served as a PR for Superstars Academy.   With Afrencon, I was a data analyst before I joined LightHouse as a head scout for the Gambia project. In organizational structures, I served as the ambassador of the John Bass Kidney Foundation and one of the founders of the foundation creating kidney awareness in the Gambia.   I also served two positions in the Gambian organization in Sweden, as Sports chairman and the secretary of the associations.   After 12 years of being a football journalist, I was named 3rd best sports column writer in Africa year 2021 by the reputable sports media organization AIPS. I finished in the top 35 in the world with my article titled Back way: Gambian footballers in deadly Voyage to Europe.   With over 500 articles and interviews, analysis, profiling, features and news, I was shortlisted for the Gambia Press Union National Journalist Award 2022. I submitted the article which was co-written alongside Momodou Bah From Living Through Despair to Being An Agent Of Hope, The Inspiring Story Of John Bass.   I have served as an advisers to Football academies, clubs, and players and others. I have hosted dozens of shows and was invited as a guest on both radio, TV and the online press. I also covered the Gambia's maiden AFCON debut in 2021 in Cameroon.  

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