Elton (EPA).

First Division League’s Al Hamriyah have pulled off an audacious transfer coup with the capture of veteran Saudi Professional League-favourite Elton.

Elton, 34, spent a decade plying his trade in the Kingdom, on and off, for four different clubs since 2007’s capture by Al Nassr. The diminutive playmaker’s extravagant skills and warm personality made him a popular figure, while his influential role in 2012/13’s shock top-flight triumph for minnows Al Fateh will not readily be forgotten.

The Brazilian – whose 12 appearances since January’s arrival from CRB helped fourth-placed Al Wehda into a, likely, first AFC Champions League-berth – has now been snapped up on a free transfer by ambitious employers determined to reach the Arabian Gulf League. Ghazi Ghrairi’s men were fourth when coronavirus brought a premature end to the season in March.

“Let’s all say welcome to Elton, our new player,” Hamriyah tweeted about their stellar signing, who returns to the UAE after featuring for Dubai CSC and Al Wasl from 2009-10. “Welcome aboard.”

Play in the UAE’s 11-team second tier is not expected to resume until next month. The top-two positions, in normal circumstance, provide promotion.

Elton’s capture is the competition’s most high-profile since Fujairah hired Argentina icon Diego Maradona as coach for a tumultuous 2017/18 campaign.

Al Hamriyah is a coastal settlement in the northern reaches of Sharjah.

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