FC Goa renewed the contract of their 26-year-old Syrian defender Fares Arnaout, which was set to expire in 2023, until 2025. The renewal however was done before the appointment of the former Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez. FC Goa is now looking to loan out the Syrian international to other clubs in the ISL ahead of the 23/24 season.
Fares Arnaout signed for the Gaurs ahead of their 2022-23 campaign on a 1-year deal as a part of their foreign contingent revamp on a free from Manama Club of the Bahraini top-flight. Despite being only 25 years old, he brought continental pedigree to the Gaurs’ backline.
Fares embarked on his professional playing career in 2017/18 with Al Jaish in Damascus. Right from the start, he achieved remarkable success, clinching the Syrian Cup, Syrian Premier League, and Syrian Super Cup in his debut season with the club. As the years progressed, he became an integral part of the team, playing a crucial role in securing another Syrian League victory in 2018/19.
Fares’ talent also shone through in Al Jaish’s AFC Cup campaigns, where he made 15 appearances across three seasons. During this time, the Syrian side reached the West Asia Zonal Semi-Finals in 2019, with Arnaout’s contributions playing a significant role in their progress.
Fares’ successful journey continued as he joined Bahrain’s Al Muharraq in 2021. In a short time, he played a crucial role in helping the team secure the AFC Cup title later that year. His contributions and talent further solidified his reputation as a remarkable player.
On the international stage, Fares has earned 10 caps for his country, making his debut in the 2019 Hero Intercontinental Cup held in India. Notably, Arnaout served as the captain of the Syria U23 team and led them to the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship quarter-finals. His leadership and contributions were vital in their impressive performance in the tournament.
Fares is known for his composed demeanour and is a formidable presence in defence. His anticipation skills make it challenging for opponents to bypass him, as he excels in clean tackling both in the air and on the ground. His ability to intercept and regain possession is a valuable asset to his team.
Moreover, Arnaout’s proficiency in set pieces adds an additional dimension to his game, as he is an efficient aerial target for his teammates. His calmness and precision when handling loose balls in high-pressure situations and his seamless distribution to teammates make him an important placeholder in the backline of any team that plays possession-based attacking football.
FC Goa snapped up the Syrian following their disappointing 21/22 ISL campaign. Fares Arnaout made 19 starts for the Gaurs in the 22/23 season as he could not exactly cement his starting place for the Goan side. Fares played just over 1000 minutes and scored a goal in the Goan side’s ISL campaign as they finished 7th and yet again failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Having won the ISL with Hyderabad FC, Marquez’s appointment as head coach heralds a new era for the Gaurs after their recent disappointing ISL campaigns. Being deemed surplus to the Spaniard’s requirements for now, FC Goa has begun looking for other ISL clubs to loan out Fares Arnaout to ahead of the upcoming ISL season.
Bringing Fares Arnaout into the team would provide a composed and confident presence in defense. With his exceptional anticipation and clean tackling abilities, he proves to be a formidable opponent to bypass. Fares’ effectiveness in set-pieces adds an extra attacking dimension, while his composure in high-pressure situations allows him to retain possession and distribute the ball seamlessly.
His style of play aligns well with possession-based attacking football, making him an attractive choice for teams seeking defensive solidity, creativity from the back, and a potential goal-scoring threat. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the exciting Syrian defender.
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