Ali Husni Faisal has put pen to paper with Turkish side Çaykur Rizespor for an undisclosed fee. The Iraqi international has signed a five year deal that should keep him at the club until 2021. He will be joining fellow Iraqi international Dhurgham Ismail, who is the club’s current defensive left back.
Rizespor play in the Turkish Super Lig, the top division in the country. The club continue to highlight their commitment to working with Iraqi talent after first bringing Ali Adnan to the Çaykur Didi Stadyumu, who now plies his trade for Italian giants Udinese. Dhrgham Ismail soon followed suit, joining from Al Shorta. The move makes Ali Husni the third Iraqi to play for Rizespor, after much speculation linking the player to Europe.This move will allow Ali to prove himself on a larger stage before the player will no doubt look towards other European leagues for the next stage of his career.
Ali Husni made his mark in the Iraqi league playing for Al-Minaa, with his performances resulting in him winning a call up to the national team by manager Radhi Shenaishil – the player was one of the 23 who featured in the Asian Cup 2015 squad that finished fourth in the tournament. The 22 year old has made 11 appearances with the national team and has scored his only goal in the group stages of World Cup 2018 qualification, against Chinese Taipei. Since then, the player has come leaps and bounds, cementing his starting role as Iraq’s main attacking outlet from out wide, challenging the likes of Justin Meram and Ahmed Yasin for the first XI. His flair and ability to beat a defender made him a starter under previous Iraqi managers. The midfielder is comfortable playing on either flank and can play the number 10 role too, where his creativity and finishing makes him a thorn to opposition defenders.
With the Iraqi Olympics side on its way to Rio 2016, Ali Husni and Rizespor will be glad this transfer has been completed in time for the tournament. This will allow the player to focus on the national team rather than having worrying distractions regarding his future club career. Likewise, Rizespor will be glad to have bagged the talented youngster ahead of other European clubs, who will no doubt be made more aware of the player once he sets foot in Rio’s stadiums. The midfielder was instrumental in leading Iraq towards Rio during the qualification stage, where he bagged two vital goals, including the crucial late equaliser against UAE in the quarter-final stages of the Asian Cup u23 Championship.