Former Rangers forward Fashion Sakala has made quite the impact at Al Fayha with his post-Scottish Premiership form labelled ‘brilliant’ by the Middle Eastern press.
While end-product – or a lack thereof – was often the main concern surrounding the Zambia international during his time at Rangers, you won’t here similar complaints being fired his way at the King Salman Sport City Stadium.
In five games for his new Saudi Pro League employers, Fashion Sakala has scored three goals and set up one more already. He is only two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Golden Boot race, is matching the tallies of Roberto Firmino and Karim Benzema, and scored a goal three of the modern era’s most feared forwards would all have been proud to call their own against Al Hilal recently, dancing through a forest of legs before lashing home from the tightest of angles.
Rangers sold Fashion Sakala to Saudi Arabia
Al Fayha finished 11th in a 16-team league last season. But, with Sakala taking on something of a talismanic role already, a top-half finish no longer feels out of the question; Al Fayha’s own ‘marquee’ signing matching the impact made by Saudi’s more high-profile newcomers.
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Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, meanwhile, is wondering if any of the new forwards Mick Beale brought in during a hectic and expensive summer overhaul can realistically be described as an upgrade on Sakala.
For all his doubters, the former KV Oostende man did hit the 20-mark for goals and assists in 2022/23. A tally which looks a long way beyond Sam Lammers, Abdallah Sima and co at present.
Have Rangers really upgraded on Fashion Sakala?
“I’m looking at guys like Danilo, Sam Lammers, Abdullah Sima and Cyriel Dessers,” 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.”