Friday, July 22, 2016


The Ramdani Lestalahu Mystery

It has been the kind of saga that would have kept English sports editors drooling for days. In Indonesia where the media is less bloodthirsty it hasn't quite attracted those sort of headlines.

Persija's Ramdani Lestalahu has appeared infrequently for his side this season seemingly without much comment as if it is  normal to just drop one of your best players. The 24 year old midfielder who made headlines around the region at the ASEAN Football Federation Championships back in 2014 when he scored twice against Laos has fallen from the headlines as quickly as he arrived and until recently no one seemed to know why.

After coming on as a late sub for Persija last weekend away to Persib, Lestalahu went to social media to say he didn't want to work with people who were out for 'revenge' against him. Pretty damning statement to make and with Persija heading to East Java for their home game with Madura United this weekend without him the debate over his future has only increased.

There was a story linking him with a move to PSM last week, a rumour the club themselves were quick to deny. Most recently PSM coach said Lestalahu was a 'good player' which of course only served to increase the speculation of the midfielder's future.

Born in Ambon, way out east, Lestalahu has been with Persija since 2007 apart from a two year spell with Sriwijaya. 2014 was a good season for him, crowned by his brace at the AFF Championships in Vietnam but with the Indonesia Super League being halted in 2015 his career has ground to a halt and the problem with Persija is continuing to block a promising career.

Hopefully his future can be sorted out when the transfer window opens next month as Indonesia needs its best players getting regular game time if they are to have any kind of impression later this year.

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