IK Start can now confirm that Sawo has agreed personal terms, passed the medical test and signed a contract with Cypriot club Aris Limassol.

– We can be proud of the work the club has done in developing Zak in the year or so he has been here. From going from level 3 in Sweden, to being sold to a club that will participate in group games in Europe, says sports manager Magni Fannberg.

– It is always sad to say goodbye to a person who has made such a big impression on our internal environment, done a brilliant job for the club on and off the pitch, while I know that he has been very happy in the club and the city.

Will participate in group games in Europe.

Aris Limassol plays in the top division in Cyprus, and are the reigning champions. This week they will play the Europa League playoffs against Slovan Bratislava. Regardless of the outcome, the team will play in the European group stage this autumn.

– The fact that we as a club can sell players directly to teams that will participate in group games in Europe is proof that the work we put in is good. Here, both the coaching team and the playing group deserve praise, says Fannberg and elaborates:

– Above all, I would like to highlight the individual development focus that our coaching team works towards, implements and, not least, once again shows that it pays off. It is a great resource and value for us as a club in the situation we are in.

The now 23-year-old striker joined IK Start from Oskarshamn AIK at Swedish level 3, in a transfer that was confirmed on 25 July last year. He made his debut for the club against Brann on 4 August of the same year, and a few days later he scored in his first match in front of the crowd at the Sparebanken Sør Arena.

In total, there were 22 counting games in the Start shirt for Sawo, who scored 8 goals in these games. What will be remembered the longest among those with Start in their hearts is the fantastic brass kick that secured the win in overtime against Jerv this year. See all his goals in the Start jersey in the video further down in the article.

– Sawo is a skilled player with an extreme physique. He has top speed and strength that is at an international level, and is still at an age where he can develop to be as good as possible, says Fannberg.

– In the year he has been here, he has contributed with professionalism and strong work effort. He has delighted fellow players, coaches, administration and the public with his game and demeanor, and will of course be warmly welcomed to Sparebanken Sør Arena the next time he is in Kristiansand.

Sawo’s last goal for us came against Skeid, on Wednesday 9 August, when he scored 1-0 in the second half. The Skeid match was also the striker’s last match for the club.

– We wish Zakaria Sawo only the best when he now takes the next step in his career, concludes Fannberg.

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