Is Italian Silvestri JDT's 'mystery goalkeeper'?

KUALA LUMPUR: Another candidate has emerged as the possible person behind the mysterious third goalkeeper for Super League champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).

Last Sunday, the Southern Tigers uploaded a video on their Facebook page, unveiling the new jerseys for their goalkeepers for the 2024/25 season.

Sporting a full-faced ski mask paired with oversized sunglasses, the new arrival's identity was not revealed, standing next to goalkeepers Ahmad Syihan Hazmi and Farizal Marlias.

Initially speculated to be Filipino national goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, doubts arose with the presence of a towering figure, allegedly Italian goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium during JDT's 4-0 win over Lion City Sailors in a friendly on Monday.

The former Italian youth player stands at an impressive 1.91m tall and is expected to provide the boost needed for JDT's Asian Champions League Elite (ACLE) campaign.

According to a post on the Empayar Darul Takzim - EDT Facebook page, the individual referred to is Silvestri, who currently plays for Serie A side Udinese in Italy.

Silvestri's experience in European competitions will undoubtedly strengthen the backline as the Southern Tigers aim to make a significant impact on the Asian stage. JDT have been a regular in Asia's top-tier ACL since 2019, with their best achievement being in 2022 when they reached the last 16 but lost 5-0 to eventual champions Urawa Red Diamonds.

If the 33-year-old Silvestri joins JDT, he will be their first foreign goalkeeper since their establishment in 2013.

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