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Emirates complete quartet with ex-Liverpool man Leto

Argentine forward never got a Premier League game under Benitez due to work permit woes

Image Credit: Emirates Club
Argentine forward Sebastian Leto joins Emirates Club on a one-year deal after being released by Greece’s Panathinaikos.
Gulf News

Dubai: Emirates Club have completed their foreign quartet with the signing of Argentine former Liverpool forward Sebastian Leto.

The 30-year-old joins on a one-year deal after being released by Greece’s Panathinaikos where he was a teammate of Al Ain’s recent addition, Swedish striker, Marcus Berg, last season, scoring 12 goals in 34 appearances.

Leto started his career in Argentina with Lanus in 2005 before moving to England’s Liverpool in 2007, but he never made a Premier League appearance under Rafael Benitez due to work permit issues, which limited him to Champions League and reserve team run outs.

He joined Greece’s Olympiacos on loan in 2008 and then made the move to Greece permanent with Panathinaikos in 2009. From there he moved to Italy’s Catania in 2013, returning to Lanus on loan in 2015, and Panathinaikos in a permanent move in 2016.

His most successful season was in 2012 when he scored 16 goals in 21 appearances while at Panathinaikos. He won two league and cup doubles at both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos in 2008/09 and 2009/10 respectively.

Leto sits in alongside Emirates Club’s new South Korean midfielder Park Jung-woo brought in from Al Jazira and Moroccan forward Abdel Ghani Mouaoui signed from IR Tanger. Ivan Hasek’s foreign quartet is completed with the retaining of Argentinian striker Sebastian Saez.

Elsewhere, Sharjah have signed Australian defender Ryan McGowan on a one-year deal from China’s Guizhou Zhicheng. The 28-year-old has previously plied his trade in Scotland with spells at Hearts, Ayr, Partick and Dundee United, dotted between a career that started at Australia’s Para Hills and took him to Shandong Luneng Taishan and Henan Jianye in China.

He won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 2012 and the Chinese FA Cup with Shandong in 2014, and boasts 20 appearances for Australia.

McGowan joins Sharjah’s Venezuelan forward Gelmin Rivas, who is the only player retained by coach Jose Peseiro this summer. Two vacancies now remain in their foreign quota. Every Arabian Gulf League team is allowed three foreigners plus one Asian player.

Emirates narrowly avoided relegation last season, while Sharjah finished six points clear of the drop.