Will winter transfers make big impact?
The QNB Stars League clubs are seeking to take advantage of the current winter transfer window, from 1st to 31st January, with an objective to bolster their squads in the second half of the season.
There is no doubt that the window is a great opportunity for teams to compensate for their lapses in the first phase. The intense rivalry to finish in the top bracket as well as to stay off the bottom places prompts the sides to splash cash midway through the season.
Top three teams Al Duhail, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan may not go for major changes even though they all have AFC Champions League commitments.
Al Sadd have recalled right-back Hamed Ismail from Al Arabi till the end of this season in a bid to strengthen their defence. Hamed started his career at Al Arabi, then plied his trade with Al Rayyan and Al Sadd before his homecoming to Al Arabi.
Similarly, leaders Al Duhail got back the services of goalkeeper Amine Lecomte, who was on loan at Al Khor for the first phase.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan are reportedly looking to change one of their professional players.
There is no big difference between the top three sides . Al Sadd (27) are just two points behind Al Duhail and as many ahead of Al Rayyan. The competition among them is sure to get hotter as the league progresses since all three are title contenders.
Fourth-placed Al Sailiya have not made any changes so far, while Umm Salal, occupying the fifth position, signed Tunisian playmaker Oussama Darragi after parting ways with Moroccan professional player Youssef Sekour by mutual consent.
Al Gharafa made it shouting by roping in Dutch star and World Cupper Wesley Sneijder, who is a UEFA Champions League winner with Inter Milan.
The Cheetahs are also set to sign striker Mehdi Taremi from Iranian champions Persepolis.
Al Arabi are expected to soon recruit Croat Ivan Foster, who reached Doha in the early hours of Monday. They had recently ended their contract with Tunisian defender Ammar Jemal.
The transfer window is still open and the coming days might witness many more signings. However, the big question is will the new signings make a big difference in the teams’ fortunes in the second part of the season?