LONDON: The Romanian revolution at Al-Shabab has been given a boost with the Riyadh club announcing the signing of national team forward Constantin Budescu.
Budescu, 29, has signed a three-year contract for a reported fee of €2.5 million ($2.9 million) and joins countrymen Marius Sumudica and Valerica Gaman at the King Fahd Stadium. Sumudica has been hired as manager to replace Jose Daniel Carreno, while Gaman, a teammate of Budescu at FC Steaua București last season, has been recruited to play at the back.
Romanian coaches Cristian Petre and Gabriel Margarit have also been hired as assistants to Sumudica. Bebe Barbulescu will be the fitness coach, while Radu Sardescu will train the goalkeepers.
Sumudica quickly got his backroom staff in place and now is shaping his squad. He no doubt recommended to the Al-Shabab board that they sign Budescu as he worked with the player at Astra Giurgiu last year and knows him well.
Budescu will add punch to an Al-Shabab attack that misfired last season. In finishing 10th — four places down on the previous year — the team scored fewer goals than second-bottom Al-Raed and failed to boast anyone in the top-15 goal-scorers in the league.
Winning the last of his 11 international caps against Finland last month, Budescu is known for his creativity and is something of a free-kick specialist, so he will add goals and assists to Al-Shabab’s play. His goal average for his country is one in two games, and he has scored wherever he has been, including 43 in 115 games for Astra Giurgiu.
Budescu was named Romanian Footballer of the Year last year and is Al-Shabab’s third summer signing, following on from Gaman and Euller Silva, the Brazil under 20 international left-back.