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Earnshaw: Why Tel Aviv move was right for me

    Robert Earnshaw says he has had his eyes opened since moving to Israel and would consider making his move to Maccabi Tel Aviv permanent after falling in love with the country.

    The deadline day transfer sent shockwaves around Ligat Ha’Al after the Wales striker swapped the Championship for Israel on a season-long loan from Cardiff City.

    Earnshaw, 31, explained how a meeting with Maccabi sports director Jordi Cryuff made his mind up that this was the right move.

    "On a professional level, this is the right decision for me," said Earnshaw. "Jordi told me about the club and it’s clear we’re talking about a big club with great fans.

    "There is a new manager and coaching staff and this is a special period for the club.

    "The coach comes from Barcelona, everything Barcelona-esque is brilliant, so that was a big and exciting reason to join.

    "Straight away over the last couple of days I’ve learnt a lot already, the style of play and everything.

    "I'm here to give everything I’ve got and want to keep enjoying playing football."

    Capped 58 times by his country, Earnshaw joined 24 hours after Maccabi signed Hassan Abu Zeid from Bnei Yehuda on a four-year deal.

    Earnshaw came off the bench to make his debut for Maccabi in the 4-0 win over Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.

    He said: "I've got no doubt that this is going to make me a better player and understand the game more.

    "I’ve not come here just to play football, I’ve come here to learn and be better.

    "Sometimes you have to broaden your horizons and broaden your mentality as well."

    Reflecting on his first few days in Israel, he said: "The place is amazing; I’m in a hotel by the beach and when I finish training I can rest, swim in the sea and relax.

    "The way of playing ‘total football’, passing the ball and movement has been brilliant."

    Maccabi sports director Jordi Cruyff said: "The last day of the transfer window always gives pleasant surprises and this is one of them.

    "Robbie’s goal-scoring record speaks in itself."

    Other deadline day moves saw Dekel Keinan rejoin Maccabi Haifa from Cardiff, while Avihai Yadin joined Maccabi Haifa from Hapoel Tel Aviv.

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