Saigon FC signs two foreign players, Jamaican striker joins Thanh Hoa FC

By Lam Thoa, Kim Hoa   November 20, 2020 | 12:16 pm GMT+7
Saigon FC signs two foreign players, Jamaican striker joins Thanh Hoa FC
Do Merlo plays for Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh in V. League 1 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Nhu.
Saigon FC has signed Vietnamese-Argentinian striker Do Merlo and Brazilian defender Thiago Melo, while Jamaican striker Chavaugh Walsh has moved to Thanh Hoa FC.

Merlo and Melo, two key players of Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh, have decided to part ways after helping the club escape relegation in V. League 1 2020. Earlier this month, Nam Dinh also lost Brazilian forward Rafaelson Fernandez to SHB Da Nang but recruited another Brazilian, striker Felipe Martins, on November 11.

Do Merlo, or Gastón Merlo, is a famous goal scorer in V. League 1. During his 10-year spell for Da Nang, he has scored 131 goals, helping the club win the league twice. The 35-year-old was V. League 1’s top scorer in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016.

In the 2020 season, he signed with Nam Dinh and scored six goals in17 games, the same as Fernandez. Meanwhile, the 28-year-old defender Melo had a solid performance throughout the season.

"We want to keep both of them at the club but they didn't agree with our offer on the new contracts, so we had to let them go," said Nam Dinh Technical Director Nguyen Van Sy.

The two will add much needed strength to Saigon FC, who have already let 18 players go, including South Korean defender Ahn Byung-keon and Brazilian forwards Pedro Paulo and Geovane Magno. The club finished third last season and decided on a big squad makeover.

Chavaugh Walsh (in white) plays for Hoang Anh Gia Lai in V. League 1 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Chavaugh Walsh (in white) plays for Hoang Anh Gia Lai in V. League 1 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Thanh Hoa FC’s new signing, Walsh, was the best striker for Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) last season. He scored 10 goals for HAGL in the 2020 season.

"Walsh came to the club for a trial and he was highly rated by the coaches, so we decided to give him a two-year contract," Nguyen Van De, chairman of Thanh Hoa, said Tuesday, just before he stepped down from his position, citing health reasons.

"I love Thanh Hoa FC but it’s time for me to stop. My health is not good enough to continue with football," De said.

Walsh is the second foreign player that Thanh Hoa has signed before the new season. They had already signed Brazilian midfielder José Pinto from Quang Nam FC after the club’s relegation.

The clubs are still in the process of finalizing their squads before 2021 V. League 1 commences on January 16.

 
 
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