Brazilian striker Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao returned to Malta on Sunday to sign for Valletta. This will be his second spell with the Citizens after spending a few weeks with the club as he played in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers against FC Lusitans of Andorra in July 2012.
However despite a good performance and three goals against the Andorran champions, he was released by the club and a few weeks later, he signed for Birkirkara. With the Stripes, he spent two years, winning the championship in 2012/13 and the runner-up spot in 2013/14. Last season, he played for Muharraq in Bahrain where he also won the championship. With Valletta, he will be re-united with former Stripes coach Paul Zammit.
Jhonnattann is only one of at least seven new foreign players for Valletta after only Tunisian midfielder Abdelkarim Nafti had been retained.
Valletta secured the services of Njongo Priso – a former Msida St. Joseph and Valletta player who also played for AEK Larnaca in Cyprus, CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria, Petrolul Ploiesti in Romania and Gyori ETO in Hungary; former Xewkija Tigers striker Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta who is an international player of the Equatorial Guinea, although he was born in Cameroon; Argentine defender Juan Cruz Gill who played in Chile; Italian midfielder Claudio Pani who played for Savona in the Italian Lega Pro; Nigerian striker Uchenna Calistus Umeh who played for FK Ekranas in Lithuania and Ukrainian goalkeeper Oleksandr Musiyenko.
Apart from Ryan Fenech who joined Balzan, Valletta could also lose Steve Borg to Aris Limassol in Cyprus.