Ħamrun Spartans completed a major transfer coup when they
reached an agreement for a contract extension with French defender Claude Dielna while they have also agreed on new contracts with Emerson Marcelina, Pablo Sanchez, Darko Gojkovic, Predrag Djordjevic, Jorge Ailton Soares, aka Dodo, Soufiane Lagzir, and Arthur Oyama.
The confirmation of Dielna at the heart of the Spartans defence is seen by many as the biggest transfer business made by the Spartans top hierarchy in the last few weeks as they seek to strengthen their title-winning side for the upcoming season and participation in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers should UEFA give their green light to issue a licence to the Spartans due to their involvement in a match-fixing case seven years ago
The towering French defender joined the Spartans during the
January transfer window and although he only made two competitive appearances with the Reds his contribution towards their championship triumph was equally important.
In fact, Dielna made his debut against Gżira United where he managed to not only put on an impressive defensive display but also scored the second goal in a 2-1 win.
The Frenchman then again proved decisive in their ‘title decider’ against Hibernians where he procured the match-winning penalty that was ably converted by Seydou Doumbia that handed the team a five-point lead at
the top of the standings over their Paola rivals.
That win proved decisive as the 2020-21 season was brought to a halt a few days later when the government and the health authorities introduced a Legal Notice that banned all organised sport, with the MFA forced to end the Premier League last month as restrictions were not lifted in time to
complete the championship by the end of May.
Apart from Dielna, the Spartans have also managed to agree terms over new contracts with arguably their star performer last season, Cape Verde striker Dodo who was an inspirational figure in the team’s successful title campaign.
In fact, Dodo scored 13 goals for the Spartans and was their top assist man during the season as his performances helped to lift the title for the first time after an absence of 30 years.
Emerson Marcelina and Predrag Djordjevic, another two fundamental figures in the Spartans’ engine room last season, have also penned new contracts along with Serbian defender Gojkovic, wing back Oyama, goalkeeper Sanchez.
Soufiane Lagzir who joined the Spartans in January but his season was ended early with a foot injury has also been given a new deal for next season.
However, the Spartans transfer activity is entering a crucial phase as coach Mark Buttigieg is seeking to strengthen the team with the capture of three overseas players.
With the majority of the leagues in Europe still ongoing, the Spartans found the going tough to strike any deal but they are hopeful of being able to wrap up new signings in time for when the team starts their pre-season training on May 24.
As regards, Maltese players the Spartans may well delve into the market to sign two players but so far negotiations have yet to reach a decisive phase.