Let Safawi suffer in Europe – it will make him better

It is not often players from this region have the opportunity to play in Europe.

Malaysia has one now attached to a team in a top European league, but the eternal pessimists amongst us are already hankering for his return.

“Pity him.”

“Don’t kill his career.”

“He should just come back and play here every week.”

“He deserves better.”

These are just some of the premature (and immature) expressions to pop up on social media over the past few weeks about Safawi Rasid.

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, had on Astro Arena’s Bola@Mamak last night said Safawi will return to the Johor club next season.

Safawi is a generational talent who is yet to feature for his Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit Portimonense since joining on loan from serial Super League champions JDT.

Pity him? Yes, for not having his compatriots behind him, willing the 23-year-old on.

Don’t kill his career? Safawi has been at the club for all of three months. Theoretically, it hasn’t even started.

He should just come back and play here every week? So we could whine for eternity about another footballer who didn’t hack it. And slaughter him, too, of course.

He deserves better? Hell yeah, from every one of us.

The truth is, to make the grade at that level, you need patience. Plenty of it.

Park Ji-sung is a Manchester United legend but when he arrived in Europe in 2003, he had to wait more than a month to make his debut for PSV Eindhoven.

He would go on to appear only seven more times for the Dutch side that season.

Older Manchester City fans will remember Chinese rightback Sun Jihai joining as a relatively unknown in 2002 before making his bow two months later.

Sun went on to play 130 matches for the Citizens and is a cult hero at the Eastlands.

Perhaps the most encouraging tale is Takumi Minamino.

The Liverpool forward struggled to get going in his maiden season with Austria’s Salzburg.

He exploded the following season, became THE player at the club and eventually earned a move to the best side in England.

Let your boy suffer, Malaysia … because if he comes out of this period with aplomb, he will take some stopping on a football field.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.