JDT sign Lucero

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have signed attacking midfielder Juan Martin Lucero from Independiente ahead of their AFC Cup campaign, which starts later this month. 

Lucero will replace Paulo Rangel in Johor’s squad after the latter has been demoted to JDT’s second side having failed to fit in with the club’s philosophy.

“I would like to inform you that we have signed Juan Martin Lucero from the Argentine club Independiente,” a statement on the club’s Facebook page said. “We have a lot of options. But, we believe that he is the most suitable player for JDT.

“After having a meeting with JDT Sports Director Alistair Edwards, Manager Mario Gomez, Assistant Coach Raul, Club Agent and Scouts Martin Prest, Nasir Yusof, Luciano Figueroa, and also our other scouts in Argentina, we feel that he is the player most suitable for us. Having a young player is always good because they have value and they can be considered as our club’s asset.”

The 24-year-old Argentine scored nine goals and notched up two assists in the 33 games he represented Independiente in last season. He had played just four games in the current season before sealing a move to JDT.

Lucero is scheduled to arrive in Johor Bahru on Wednesday and is set to be officially unveiled during a press conference on Thursday.

JDT will be looking to retain their AFC Cup title after failing to qualify for the AFC Champions League after they were beaten 3-0 on penalties by Muangthong United of Thailand in the play-offs.

JDT have been slotted into Group H of the AFC Cup alongside Bengaluru, Lao Toyota and Ayeyawady United. The Malaysian club will kick off their campaign against Ayeyawady United on February 24.