Kuala Lumpur: As the 2019 AFC Cup moves towards its latter stages, many of the remaining sides battling it out for Continental glory may look to bring in new personnel who they hope can be the difference between success and failure.
Over the years a number of teams have reaped the rewards for luring fresh faces ahead of the business end of the competition – the-AFC.com has picked out five of the biggest-impact summer signings.
Ibaraki: Kashima Antlers confirmed on Fridat that Hiroki Abe is transferring to Spanish champions FC Barcelona.
The 20-year-old forward, who has been with the reigning Asian champions since 2017, will make his first move to the European continent and will be hoping to feature in the La Liga and UEFA Champions League.
Abe has shown tremendous talent for both club and the Japanese national team. Last year, he played a crucial role in assisting Kashima to their first AFC Champions League title, while also impressing domestically in the J1 League to be named the Rookie of the Year.
Kuala Lumpur: With Marko Arnautovic the latest big name to join the AFC Champions League after Monday's signing with quarter-finalists Shanghai SIPG, we take a look at five other big summer acquisitions who led their team to Continental glory.
The Austrian forward will be tasked helping fire the Chinese Super League side to their first AFC Champions League title and, if he can do so, he would join a list of players who have gone on to lift the coveted trophy.