Brazilian playmaker joins men for upcoming season

The Wellington Phoenix have secured another creative talent ahead of the 2022-23 Isuzu UTE A-League season.

Brazilian attacking midfielder Yan Sasse has joined the Phoenix on a one-year deal, after obtaining a New Zealand work visa.

The 25-year-old has played 47 matches in Brazil’s top division, the Brasileirão, and has played a season in Turkey’s Süper Lig.

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay says the left-footed playmaker is “similar but different” to Bulgarian attacking midfielder Bozhidar Kraev.

“He’s a South American 10 so he’s technically good on the ball, explosive and is good in one vs one situations,” Talay said.

“He’ll bring balance to our midfield. We’ll have a player that can create goalscoring opportunities, while also scoring goals.

“He’s played as a winger previously so he can do that job defensively out wide too.”

Yan Sasse is also expected to fit in off the field.

“I’ve spoken to him over the phone and he seems like a very good person and like he’ll be a good character in the changing room.

“I’m just looking forward to working with him.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – APRIL 14: Rene (L) of Flamengo struggles for the ball with Yan Sasse of Vasco da Gama during a match between Vasco da Gama and Flamengo, as part of State Championship Final 1 at Nilton Santos Stadium on April 14, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

He will become the eighth Brazilian to play for the Phoenix and the first since Gui Finkler in 2017.

Yan Sasse will join Kraev, experienced English forward David Ball and young All White Ben Old as the players vying for the two 10 roles in Talay’s system.

“We’ve also got Oskar [van Hattum] who can play there if we really need him to.

“We’ll have good depth in the front line once we sign a striker. It gives us alternatives.”

Talay says Old will still get his chances alongside the three imports.

“We bring in visa players to be different to our local players. They need to bring some sort of difference to our game but being a visa player doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to start.

“The season is long, and players will all get their opportunities to be able to showcase themselves.”

Yan Sasse has joined the first team squad in Sydney and is a chance of making his Phoenix debut in Wednesday night’s round of 16 Australia Cup match against Melbourne City.

He will wear the no. 31 shirt for the Nix.