Iraqfootball.me are delighted to be joined by Manuel Veth in a discussion on how successful Ali Adnan’s transfer to Vancouver Whitecaps has been since he joined the MLS side. Manuel, who covers the Vancouver Whitecaps on ProSoccerUSA.com, can be contacted on Twitter here.
Question 1 – What did you think when you first heard Vancouver were signing Ali Adnan?
Answer – I think, like many in Vancouver, there was a sense of excitement based on the video that saw him shuttiung down Mohamed Salah a few years ago. At the same time, he was brought in on loan and although the videos were good, we all hoped he would be just one piece of the rebuild and not the actual marquee signing of the club.
Question 2 – Why was he signed initially by Vancouver?
Answer – Marc Dos Santos wanted to address the left-back situation at the club. Hence, the Whitecaps were shopping for a left-back and had an opportunity to sign Adnan on loan for relative little money.
Question 3 – Where has Ali excelled during his time in the MLS?
Answer – I think we all saw flashes of what Adnan can do when he goes forward. His dribbles and abilities to turn players inside out are definitely evident at times. Also, he can be a bit like Robben cutting in from the left and then using his excellent shot to score goals.
Question 4 – Where has Ali fallen short in terms of performances?
Answer – This is a tough one. I think where he fell short is expectations that any club has in their Designated Player. Every MLS club is only allowed to sign three Designated Players. Those players are marquee signings and are expected to be impact players. Because of his position and, the fact that he has arrived in Vancouver under difficult circumstances, such as the Asian Cup and going a long time without football in Italy, these factors made it difficult for him. He is the highest paid defender in the league and the Whitecaps have tied up a lot of resources in him as a player. Resources that are usually spend in areas on the pitch that have more impact, such as strikers and central midfielders.
Question 5 – Would you say Ali’s time in the MLS has overall been a success or a failure?
Answer – I would say it has been somewhere in-between. His price tag was very high for an MLS club and he has not lived up to the expectation. At the same time, the entire club has struggled this season and I would like to give it another season to evaluate his full worth. He hasn’t justified his salary yet.
Question 6 – What has been your favourite highlight or moment from Ali?
Answer – Ali Adnan’s goal against FC Dallas in May. It was an absolute beauty, a bit like Arjen Robben.
Question 7 – What are your final thoughts on Allawi?