Uzbekistan star Masharipov loaned to Shabab Al Ahli after Al Nassr switch

A star for both club and country in recent years, the midfield creator’s sale to Al Nassr was confirmed by former club FC Pakhtakor on Saturday, with Shabab Al Ahli quickly revealing that they had acquired Masharipov’s services on loan until the end of the season.

Masharipov, 27, joins fellow Uzbekistan international Azizjon Ganiev at the Dubai club, who were drawn alongside Al Hilal, FC Istiklol and a play-off winner in Wednesday’s AFC Champions League draw.

The move marks Masharipov’s first venture to a club outside his native Uzbekistan, where he has long been regarded as one of the country’s finest players.

He is a four-time Uzbekistan Super League winner, the reigning Uzbekistan Football Association Player of the Year and by far and away the country’s leading provider of assists in the 2020 season, providing 22 in all competitions.

Masharipov is also a key member of Vadim Abramov’s Uzbekistan national team, appearing 31 times at senior level, including three of the White Wolves’ four matches at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

The loan deal brings the number of Uzbekistan internationals plying their trade in the UAE Pro League to four, with Otabek Shukurov and the newly arrived Dostonbek Khamdamov also active in the competition.

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