Summary: Hapoel Be'er Sheva - Hapoel Tel Aviv 0:0/Sport1
The career path of Imran Oulad-Omar, Hapoel Be'er Sheva's new attacking midfielder, was greatly influenced by the work of Roman Abramovich. There's something ironic about that, because the Dutchman is a diehard Chelsea fan who stated without hesitation at the outset that the pinnacle of his ambitions would be to play at Stamford Bridge, but he has never seen the Russian oligarch himself.
The story is a bit more complicated, because in 2010 Georgian businessman Merav Zhordania took over, in cooperation with his good friend Abramovich, and thus the proud Dutch club became a loan target for young players from the Blue Academy. The boss's son, Leban, who aspired to be a footballer himself, was automatically accepted into Vitesse's academy, but it turned out that he did not meet the standards and had to at one point look for a much more modest club in order to try to advance. He moved to a group with the special name Achilles 29 - it is really named after the warrior from Greek mythology, perhaps out of a desire to encourage heel devotion. In the middle of the previous decade it was promoted to the second division, and had quite high ambitions that remained only on paper.
There, in 2016, Jourdaniya Jr. met Oulad-Omar, an 18-year-old midfielder who was also somehow looking for a way up, but failed at Heerenbein's academy. The Achilles 29 adventure was also not brilliant for him, as the team crashed financially and was relegated to the third division. This defeat also had positive aspects, as the playmaker was given the number 10 shirt and a permanent place in the line-up, but he aspired for more and embarked on a strange adventure in Trenčín - a Slovak club owned by former Ajax star Tschau Le Ling, and therefore regularly serves as a transit station for junior and occasional Dutchmen who need some playing minutes. In the case of Oulad-Omar, this goal was not fulfilled, because he barely saw grass, did not acclimatize professionally and socially, and left slamming the door long before the end of his contract. According to him, he returned to the Netherlands following the death of his grandfather - that was the official excuse.
Failed Heerenbein, reached Achilles and left slamming a door/GettyImages
That's when Levan Jourdanye's friendship made an impact for the first time. Merab Jourdanja's second son, Kakhi, was then in advanced talks to take over Den Bosch of the Dutch second division, his brother had already been recruited into the squad for the expected sale. He recommended that Oulad-Omar be brought with him. However, negotiations were complicated, the deal did not go through and the duo remained stuck for the 2018/19 season. Levan, who has almost no qualifications as a footballer, was irrelevant. Olaad-Omar, on the other hand, was convinced he had to be in the lineup. Coach Will Bussen thought otherwise, due to relatively low work output, but in terms of context the explanation was trivial. He claims he was identified with the potential owner who did not buy the club and was therefore marginalized, while players with the "right" connections were always on the pitch. Thus, this adventure also ended before the end of the contract.
In the summer of 2019, Oulad-Omar arrived in Romania, where new immigrant Klinceni offered him a generous three-year contract, promising that the project was supposed to be part of the European enterprises. In reality, the reality was much bleaker and the Dutchman discovered to his astonishment that the club did not employ a physiotherapist and was unable to undergo a recovery process from an injury he suffered. The relationship ran aground after one brief appearance as a substitute when he was still unfit, so the club asked him to return to his homeland to undergo treatment. Upon his return to Romania, the midfielder complained of hostile treatment from his teammates, who allegedly harshly tackled him in training because they were jealous of his high salary. Was there a shred of truth in that? We'll never know, but Oulad-Omar demanded to cancel everything and flee. In total, he was on the courts in Romania for only 33 minutes.
In an interview published in the Netherlands at the time, Oulad-Omar said he had offers from Israel and Kazakhstan, but turned them down because the leagues did not seem attractive enough to him. In light of this, it is quite amusing that he preferred to go to Georgia, about which he also had quite a few doubts. Why did he wander there anyway? You won't be surprised to know that the answer answers to Ban Zhiradania. The good friend signed with Lokomotivi Tbilisi and wanted to see Imran by his side there as well. It soon became clear that it was a great gamble for him, because it was the league that suited his skills like a glove.
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Do in Georgia what he loves since he was a child/GettyImages
Football in Georgia does not rise to a particularly high level and is played at a fairly low pace, but traditionally there is a clear emphasis on technical ability and high ball control. These are the strong qualities of the Dutchman, and the flowering comes quickly. Oulad-Omar is a relatively slow player and his efficiency without the ball is negligible, but when given leeway with the ball at his feet, the results can be spectacular. He handles the ball superbly with both feet, so defenders can't predict his movements. In Georgia, as a pure game maker, he began to provide fine depth passes, also excelled in elevations and was given the responsibility of executing stationary situations - something he has loved since childhood.
A year and a half at Lokomotive, a mid-table team with no particular ambitions, has been very positive for the Dutchman, who then began talking about his dream of signing for Ajax when the time comes, indicating that his expectations tend to be detached from reality. Instead of Amsterdam, he moved to Rotor Volgograd of the Russian Second League in February 2022 and it was a dismal move in all aspects. The team was very weak at the bottom on its way to the third division, the acclimatization was problematic, the style did not suit him at all and the war in Ukraine that broke out a few days after his arrival turned the whole adventure into a politically inappropriate farce. After scoring a single goal in nine games, Oulad-Omar fled for as long as he could and was very happy to return to Tbilisi, which was already a kind of home for him.
This time, no help was required from the Zhordania family, because his name had already preceded him in the country. Dinamo Tbilisi was happy to welcome him on a free transfer, and his arrival in the middle of the season helped a lot in the championship fight that ended with great success with winning the gold medals. With eight goals and three assists, the Dutchman was the right reinforcement at the right time and the fans adored him. Rumors of a possible departure for the Uzbek league were received with great trepidation and everyone was pleased when Imran chose to stay at Dinamo for the 2023 season, which was defined as the best of his life at the moment of his move to the Negev capital.
Idol in Tbilisi, how will he acclimatize to the Premier League?/Official website, Hapoel Be'er Sheva
With 13 goals and seven assists in 21 league appearances, the Dutchman was the leading star of the team that once again fought for the title against Dinamo Batumi and is currently seven points behind. A month ago, he even scored three goals in the first half, en route to a 1-6 win over Gagra. Imran also did his part in the Champions League qualifier with two assists in the pair of meetings against Astana, which ended in dramatic elimination. However, the Conference League qualifying performances produced a fiasco with two losses to Maltese side Meron Spartans, highlighting the problems in the Georgian league. The Dutchman's numbers are good compared to his competitors, but the Premier League will nonetheless be a more significant challenge.
"Imran was one of the best players in Georgia, and his departure is a very serious blow for Dinamo Tbilisi. He was the idol of the stands because his technical skills are great. He delivers with grace, scores a lot of goals from a midfield position and in general his football is fun to watch. However, it is not fast enough and therefore will not be suitable for teams that like to go on transition attacks. Olad-Omar needs the ball to express himself, and can be lazy without it, especially since he is not physically strong. These are probably the reasons why he never got a chance in the top league in the Netherlands," Georgian journalist Luka Gabilava said.
Hapoel Be'er Sheva therefore receives a creative player who can engineer scoring situations with smart passes, and this is something that Eliniv Barda's team lacks today. On the other hand, he has so far proven himself only in a relatively weak league, and in all other countries he has found it difficult to acclimatize and adapt. Previous terms show that Oulad-Omar tends to lose patience very quickly, not trying to deal with problems, but leaving as quickly as possible, even if he has a long-term contract, placing the blame on those around him.
In light of this, granting a four-year contract seems like a very pretentious move on the part of Alona Barkat's club, but the Reds from the Negev will hope that the Israeli league will remind the new playmaker of football in Georgia - and then the fans will enjoy a good number of goals and assists. If this does not happen, it will always be possible to pick up the phone to Levan Zhordania.
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