Qatari international midfielder Yasser Hussein has started training with Manchester City as the club finalise the paperwork that will see him open a contract until January at least.
Hussein impressed Stuart Pearce during his appearances in the pre-season friendlies at Tranmere and Macclesfield, getting on the scoresheet against the latter with a sharp finish from close range.
The 23-year-old was recommended to the club by former City favourite Ali Benarbia, now plying his trade in Qatar himself, and Pearce has been keen to take Hussein’s creative talents on board after his pre-season displays.
"I've backed what I saw in a game and a half up with what I've seen on video," the boss confirms. "With the length of contract we are offering it's no gamble for this football club.
"He's been as keen as mustard to come over here and show us what he can do, and he's done enough to suggest that it will be well worth having a look at him."
The manager is also adamant that the wiry Hussein will have the physical presence to cope with the demands of English football, and dismisses concerns that the midfielder is too lightweight.
"You look at Shaun Wright-Phillips and you might think lightweight! One thing I noticed about Yasser is that he is not afraid to go in for a tackle or jump for a header. They're not the traits of a lightweight."
Since his trial with City, Hussein has been in limbo while the club worked on the necessary details to bring him in on a more permanent basis. However now that his working visa has been rubber-stamped, the only outstanding detail is the international clearance from the Qatar FA that is required before he can actually play for City.
"He's been keeping himself fit," says Pearce. "His wife was due to have a baby last week so I told him that once his work permit was sorted out to make sure his wife was happy. I like to tell players that if there is a problem with their wives' health to go away and then come back with a clear head."