Appropriately enough given the name of his new employers, former Rangers forward Fashion Sakala has been on ‘Fayha’ since swapping the goldfish bowl pressure of Ibrox for the sun and sweat of Saudi Arabia.
Often criticised for a perceived lack of end product in Scotland, few could have similar complaints about the Zambian’s return of three goals and one assist from his five five outings in the Middle East.
Fashion Sakala marked his Al-Fayha debut with a well-taken penalty before setting up another in a 3-1 victory over Khaleej and, for the most part, he has continued in a similar vein. One superb solo effort hammered in from the tightest of angles at home to an Al-Hilal side containing such talents as Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Brazil international Malcom was an undoubted highlight of his post-Rangers career thus far.
Former Rangers ace Fashion Sakala shines in Saudi Arabia
Sakala’s current tally of three goals, meanwhile, places him just two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Golden Boot standings. Al-Fayha’s £4 million frontman is outscoring Karim Benzema, and has the same amount as Liverpool legend Roberto Firmino.
And while it is still a little premature to suggest that Al-Fayha’s gain is Rangers’ loss, the wastefulness of Danilo, Cyriel Dessers, Sam Lammers and Rabbi Matondo during Sunday’s oh-so insipid 1-0 Old Firm derby defeat at Celtic had at least one Ibrox hero wondering if Mick Beale had spent £14 million on attacking additions only to make the club’s attack that little bit blunter.
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“I’m looking at guys like Danilo, Sam Lammers, Abdullah Sima and Cyriel Dessers,” Barry Ferguson tells the Daily Record. “(I am) asking for a whole lot more than they have brought to the table so far.
“Right now, the fans are looking at Alfredo Morelos, Antonio Colak, Ryan Kent and Fashion Sakala and worrying that their replacements simply aren’t as good as the guys they had before.
“They need to start delivering or they will come under serious pressure.”
With a goal or an assist every 112 minutes on average at Al-Fayha, Sakala has burst free of the gate while Danilo, Dessers and Lammers struggle to get out of the blocks.