Reds sign Babalj, former Korean international and former La Liga striker

Kim Jae-sung, Baba Diawara and Eli Babalj. Source: Getty Images

Adelaide United have announce the signing of South Korean midfielder Kim Jae-sung, Eli Babalj, and former La Liga stirker Baba Diawara for the remainder of the season.

The signings come ahead of Adelaide's AFC Champions League (ACL) campaign that starts on February 22. 

Kim will be eligible to play in both the Reds’ upcoming ACL campaign as well as the remainder of the A-League season. 

The 33-year-old has accumulated over 380 appearances in his homeland, most notably with K League Classic heavyweights Pohang Steelers, winning the coveted Asian Champions League in 2009.



His performances earned him a call-up to the South Korean national team, where he featured in three of the country’s four games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Kim scored two goals in 16 international caps.

He has played in Korea's second division since 2015 with Seoul E-Land. 

In addition to his spell with Pohang, Kim has represented Jeju United – one of Adelaide’s Group H opponents.

“We are very happy to sign Kim for the rest of the season," Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor said.

“He is a player with a lot of experience and has played at a very high level in his entire career. 

“Having him available for our Asian Champions League season as well is very important and he will help us in this competition for sure.” 

Adelaide also added Babalj to their attacking stocks for the remainder of this season and their ACL campaign. 

Babalj, 24, returns to Adelaide United having been loaned to the club for the 2015-2016 season by former club, AZ Alkmaar. 



Babalj’s last campaign was cut short in round 16 when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against Brisbane Roar. 

The injury-prone striker has not completed 90 minutes of football since September 2015. In August 2016 it was reported that he was paying for his own injury rehabilitation at a special clinic in Belgium and in January 2017 it was reported that he was having trials with Western Sydney Wanderers . 

Meanwhile, former Sevilla striker Baba Diawara will join the Reds subject to the final approval of a working visa and is expected to join his new teammates by the end of the week. 

Diawara, 29, played 71 times in La Liga for Sevilla, Getafe and Levante - scoring seven goals. He was most prolific in Portugal's first division where he scored 41 goals in 128 matches for Maritimo. 

The Senegalese striker has fallen out of favour in Portugal, the last time he completed 90 minutes was in August 2016. 

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga
Lionel Messi duels for the ball with Baba Diawara (L) and Hedwiges Maduro of Sevilla FC during La Liga match in 2013
Getty Images Europe


Adelaide also officially confirmed the departure of forward, Henrique, after both parties agreed to terminate his contract pending a move to Thailand. 

The Brazilian-born Australian joined the Reds ahead of the 2016-2017 season and scored three goals in 13 appearances.

Source: SBS