Islam Feruz's quest for the most bizarre Chelsea career of any player ever continues unabated. After stops in Crete, Blackpool, and the Scottish Championship, Feruz returned to Chelsea a month or so ago, seeing his loan canceled at Hibernian after just six substitute appearances. So what's next for the 20-year-old as he tries to once again pick up the pieces of a shattered future? You're not going to believe it.
Исла́м Феру́з на просмотре в ФК Актобе— ФК Актобе (@OFCAKTOBE) February 7, 2016
⚪ Будем усилятся ?) У Астаны с Кайратом должен же кто-то очки забирать pic.twitter.com/pFhe28qYWV
That's a tweet in Kazakh from a team called FC Aktobe, who have just finished second runners-up in the Kazakh Premier League, which is on a summer schedule (defending champions Astana made it all the way to the Champions League group stages this season). Apparently Feruz was one of several trialists visiting the team recently at their pre-season camp in Turkey. (We have to make do with social media posts as their official website is under construction.)
If this is starting to sound familiar, that's because it should be. Before his loan to OFI Crete, Feruz joined a team in the Russian second division for about 24 hours before apparently realizing that he's made a huge mistake. Surely, he's not going to do that same thing again, right? Right?!?
Главный тренер "Актобе" Юрий Уткульбаев сообщил, что Ислам Феруз сбежал из расположения клуба. pic.twitter.com/1p2tsIjhMG— Chelsea Russia (@CFCRussia) February 9, 2016
"They last us trained in the evening, we [...] discussed the tactical aspects of the game today — wanted to put them to see what they look like their possibilities. We showed them how to play. This ended our meeting. In the morning got up, and they are not at the hotel. What else can I say here?"
-Yuri Utkulbaev; FC Aktobe head coach; source: Vesti via Google Translate
Oh no. That's not a good look.
"They" refers to not only Islam Feruz but former Manchester City prospect Abdul Razak, who's a few years older than Feruz but has had a fairly similar career path. In fact, the two were teammates at OFI Crete in 2014. And now they've escaped together as well, with the Internet in that part of the world apparently having a field day with this. Here's a mock-up poster of Feruz and Razak in 'Prison Break', for example, alongside others. Even other teams in Kazakhstan are having a bit of fun, with one second division club, FC Maktaaral, tweeting proudly yesterday morning that all their players actually showed up for training.
Доброе утро,страна! Не знаю как у вас,а наш клуб продолжает предсезонные сборы и имеет такое же количество игроков на сборе,как и вчера!— ФК Махтаарал (@fcMaxtaaral) February 9, 2016
While it's understandable that neither Feruz not Razak wanted to play in Kazakhstan, this is now the second time something like this has happened to Feruz. If nothing else, it's yet another bizarre episode in his career.