'We tried to sign Dolly from Sundowns'

SA Players Abroad

Former Olympiacos sporting director Pierre Issa has opened up about the club's failure to land Keagan Dolly from Mamelodi Sundowns and his recent struggles at Montpellier.

Dolly, 27, was set to join the record 44-time Greek Super League champions from Masandawana in January 2017 after the club activated his R15-million release clause but the valuation was disputed.

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In the long protracted transfer saga that eventually went to the Dispute Resolutions Chamber (DRC), Masadawana won the case and the buyout clause was doubled before Montpellier won the race for his signature.

Issa was involved in the early discussions to sign the talented winger and has now opened up about the club's African transfer policy and Dolly's injury nightmare in Ligue 1 - having only featured in 37 league games out of a possible 120 since leaving Chloorkop.

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See where Dolly ranks amongst the 10 most expensive PSL exports of all-time in the gallery below

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"We tried to bring in [Keagan] Dolly a few years ago but it didn't work but Olympiacos has always open to bringing young talent from Africa," Issa tells KickOff.com.

"It was many years ago, like four or three years, I think football you can never say never [to try and sign him again] but the most important thing for him is to come back from all those injuries.

"That's the most important thing, but I can't confirm nor deny whether they are still interested in him. He's a young and talented player, he can still get back to his best still and hopefully get back to business."

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The former Bafana Bafana defender went on to discuss the success of the African talents at the club, with Halil Soudani and Youssef El-Arabi from Algeria and Morocco respectively - amongst the leading performers in Europe this season.

Before football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro Martins side knocked out Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League to book a place in the last-16 against Wolves, with the African duo integral to their historic run.

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"They have always been doing that, signing players from Africa, but the fact that today, Mady Camara, Pape Cisse, Soudani, El-Arabi are all doing good, it helps [for future scouting in the region]," Issa added. 

"At the moment I think, they've shown to everyone they can play good football and especially against big clubs. It's especially good for these young players now that they have big success and being chased from around Europe."