Atletico Ottawa has sold forward/winger Ballou Tabla to the second-division Turkish side Manisa FK. He has signed a two and a half year deal with his new club.
Ballou Tabla joined Atletico Ottawa last season from FC Montreal. He signed a three-year deal at the time with Atletico and was one of their star players of the 2022 season with seven goals and five assists. He scored the CPL goal of the year as well with a bicycle kick from the edge of the eighteen yard box.
“There is no doubt about the influence of Ballou in the team this year, he grew so much throughout the season and was vital during some key moments,” said head coach Carlos González. “He helped us achieve our goals and we were very happy with the player’s development therefore I have mixed feelings about his departure.
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“My time in Ottawa has been fantastic. I have found a lot of things I’d lost, first of all, my smile and then my joy on the field,” said Ballou. “I met some wonderful people, incredible staff and passionate fans. Every single day was full of positives, what an experience. “Unfortunately, I have to leave in this way, without a chance to give the fans a real goodbye, but that’s soccer. This experience here with Atletico Ottawa has brought me back to such a good place in football and I am so happy and grateful.”
When Tabla first came to the club there were a lot of questions about whether he would be able to perform. He famously flamed out at Montreal/Barcelona because of his attitude. However this wasn’t the case in Ottawa, he put his head down and did the work asked of him. He quickly became a fan favourite with his quick footwork and performance on the pitch.
While not official, it is rumoured that the transfer fee was one of the highest in CPL history and comes with a sell-on percentage as well as performance and appearance incentives, should they be met. In Atletico Ottawa’s young history, this is their first transfer out of the club.
Atletico Ottawa now has some serious scouting to do, as they look to replace Ballou Tabla. The team has yet to announce any new additions this offseason but those announcements should be coming soon.
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