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Aston Villa academy graduate Easah Suliman makes Sumgayit switch as Pakistan team-mate Rahis Nabi trains in Cyprus | Football News

Easah Suliman will play league football in Azerbaijan after joining Sumgayit FK.

Sky Sports News last week revealed that Suliman, who was recently named in a first-of-its-kind British South Asians in Football Team of the Season, had flown to Azerbaijan to complete the transfer.

The central defender has penned a two-year deal with Sumgayit, bringing an end to his three-and-half-year spell with Portuguese top-flight side Vitoria Guimaraes.

Aston Villa academy graduate Suliman is a former England youth captain, who shot to fame after latching on to a ball from Mason Mount to score the opener in the final when England lifted the U19 European Championship back in 2017.

Easah Suliman arriving at Heathrow Airport with U19 Euros trophy

The 25-year-old made his Villa debut under former manager Steve Bruce in a League Cup tie against Wigan in 2017.

Suliman made his international debut for Pakistan last month, featuring in their match with Kenya in Mauritius, three days after Grimsby Town midfielder and fellow British-Pakistani Otis Khan made his international debut for the Shaheens.

Pakistan international Nabi training in Cyprus

West Brom academy graduate and Pakistan international Rahis Nabi is training in Cyprus as he ponders his next destination, Sky Sports News has been told.

More from South Asians In Football

Nabi is a former England U18 international and has been dubbed the ‘Pakistani Pirlo’ in his his homeland after a number of stellar performances in midfield at the recent South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF) following the country’s return to international football.

Adil Nabi wheels away after scoring his first goal in a Dundee shirt
Adil Nabi wheels away after scoring his first goal in a Dundee shirt

Rahis, who previously had a spell at Burnley, is the younger brother of former Dundee attacker Adil Nabi, who recently completed a move to Doxa Katokopias.

The 24-year-old has offers on the table in England and is now weighing up his options ahead of the new season.

Foxes set to sign Raikhy

Arjan Raikhy FA Youth Cup final
Arjan Raikhy produced a stunning performance in Aston Villa’s 2021 FA Youth Cup triumph

FA Youth Cup winner and former Aston Villa midfielder Arjan Raikhy looks set to join Leicester City.

Sky Sports News revealed earlier this month that Punjabi wonderkid Raikhy was poised to decide his future, amid interest from clubs across the divisions.

Raikhy shot to prominence after a wonder goal against Chelsea for Villa’s U18s back in November 2020.

The technically-gifted midfielder made his senior first-team debut just two months later in an FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool, a moment described by supporters’ group Punjabi Villans as “incredible”.

Raikhy ended a memorable season by setting up Ben Chrisene’s opener in a 2-1 victory against Liverpool as Villa’s U18s lifted the FA Youth Cup.

Arjan Raikhy turns away and smiles as Grimsby players celebrate
Arjan Raikhy turns away and smiles as Grimsby players celebrate a goal in the play-off final at Wembley

The central midfielder enjoyed another productive campaign the following season as he earned the distinction of helping two teams – Stockport County and Grimsby Town – get promoted back to the Football League during two separate loan spells.

Despite impressing for Villa during their winter break in Dubai ahead of last year’s World Cup, Raikhy was one of eight players – including Ashley Young and Jed Steer – released at the end of last season.

Raikhy attends Sporting Khalsa vs Punjab United

Raikhy and fellow Sikh-Punjabi professional footballer Mal Benning recently appeared at an event to celebrate South Asians in The Game, held ahead of Sporting Khalsa’s pre-season friendly against Punjab United.

Both clubs came together with the Football Association and Three Lions to make 200 match tickets available to the community for free, with a showcase event held beforehand – shining a light on players from South Asian backgrounds, who have shattered the glass ceiling to play competitive football in England.

Arjan Raikhy Dev Trehan South Asians in Football Team of the Season
Arjan Raikhy pictured with Sky Sports News’ Dev Trehan and the South Asians in Football Team of the Season at Sporting Khalsa FC

Guests enjoyed a Talent ID taster session and had the opportunity to learn more about the palyers that featured in a first-of-its-kind Team of the Season, created by Sky Sports News journalist and FA Level 2 scout Dev Trehan and Desi Ballers founder Zohaib Rashid.

Sporting Khalsa’s game with Punjab United was the third annual fixture for the two teams, with the match fittingly ending 3-3 after Punjab United mounted a late comeback from 3-1 down to earn a share of the spoils.

A traditional Punjabi drummer had earlier led the teams onto the pitch for a match that was officiated by the first turbaned Sikh referee in English football league history, Jarnail Singh.

Singh, whose elder son Sunny Singh Gill is the country’s highest-ranked British South Asian referee, presided over the game as part of a South Asian officiating crew, with the aim of showcasing refereeing talent and pathways into the game.

British South Asians in Football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on and South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports digital platforms.

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