Pahang release Chan Vathanaka and snap up Issey Nakajima and Austin Amutu

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Pahang FA release Chan Vathanaka and replace him with Issey Nakajima while Austin Amutu returns to take the place of injured striker Francis Forkey Doe.

Cambodian star Chan Vathanaka was on Tuesday released by Pahang FA, who quickly moved to capture forwards Issey Nakajima-Farran and Austin Amutu to beef the squad and contend for the Malaysia Super League title.

“We hope the arrival of both these players will increase the quality in our squad. Amutu might have some problems adjusting to the team, but I’m sure his experience will help us,” confirmed Pahang coach Dollah Salleh to Stadium Astro.

Amutu replaces the injured Francis Forkey Doe, who suffered a long-term knee injury in March after a good start with the club.

Vathanaka’s exit had been looming, with the winger only showing glimpses of his talent in his short stint with the Elephants.

Dollah had told FOX Sports Asia that he wanted to see an improved performance from Vathanaka after the 2-2 draw with Kuala Lumpur FA on April 15.

The coach continued to field the Kampot-born winger despite not seeing much improvement, and Vathanaka leaves with only a handful of assists to his name.

Issey is a popular signing and the 33-year-old will add depth and experience to the squad.

The Canadian had already been spotted at Pahang’s training ground, and his arrival was an impending one after Vathanaka’s tenure imploded.

Amutu, meanwhile, was signed from Tunisian club ES Zarzis after failing to make an appearance.

The Nigerian is best remembered for his time at Kelantan FA (2015-2016), where he scored eight goals in 14 appearances.

Amutu was instrumental in Kelantan’s gallant run to the 2015 FA Cup final, and scored a double to help the Red Warriors beat Pahang in the semifinals.

At 25, the beefy striker still has plenty in his tank to help the Elephants keep pace with league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

As it stands, Pahang are six points behind the Southern Tigers.

In 2016, Amutu astonishingly claimed that Arsene Wenger was his fan and that the soon departing Arsenal manager was plotting a move to bring him to the Emirates.

Dollah would be hoping to have Issey and Amutu available for the league encounter against Terengganu FA on Friday.