Sundowns impressed by Abubeker Naser’s first appearance


Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed the arrival of Ethiopian striker Abubeker Nassir from Ethiopian Coffee after the player received his long-awaited international clearance.
There had been some suggestions that the 22-year-old would be loaned out this campaign, but judging by the welcome afforded to him, it appears he is very much in the plans of co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena. Nassir has been a prolific scorer in the Ethiopian league in the last three years, used as a central striker although he started out on the left wing.
It was his 29 goals in 23 games in the 2020-21 season that caught the eye of the technical team at Sundowns and they made their move, signing the player in January, but loaning him back to Ethiopian Coffee for the remainder of last season.
Clearly a player of some quality – he was also a star for his country as they shocked Egypt in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers early this month – Nassir has largely only been tested in his domestic league.
The slight concern for Sundowns is how he will adapt to the rigours of the much more physical and technically-superior DStv Premiership.
Sundowns beat Kaizer Chiefs to the signature of the forward, who also represented Ethiopia at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and featured against Bafana Bafana in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
Nassir came through the ranks at local club Harar City but was signed by Ethiopian Coffee in 2016.
He initially played in the reserve side but worked his way into the first team and was an instant hit, with a number of clubs across the continent taking notice of his talent.
It is reported he also had offers from Europe, though the lower leagues in Spain and Georgia are mentioned, as well as North Africa.
He made his international debut in 2019 and had five goals to date, the latest in June against Malawi in the 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers.


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