Heralded as one of the best footballers to have ever emerged from the Emirati region, Omar Abdulrahman has long been tipped for a move to the Premier League and the 23-year-old gave a demonstration of why he is so highly regarded against Bahrain at the Asian Cup in Australia.
Previously on trial at Manchester City after impressing for UAE at the London Olympics, as reported by The National, Abdulrahman was even offered a five-year contract by the Sky Blues only for work permit issues to prevent the move.
Since then, the winger, who can also operate as a secondary striker, has reportedly continued to attract interest from the Premier League with Arsenal linked to the player by Sky Sports in the past 12 months.
And a group stage clash with Bahrain offered up a perfect example of the potential he possesses to thrive in the English top flight with Abdulrahman setting up a goal after just 13 seconds for UAE.
Straight from the kick-off, the 23-year-old demonstrated his eye for the killer pass with a lofted through ball for striker Ali Mabkhout that allowed the forward to round the goalkeeper and score.
UAE went on to win the game 2-1 with a free-kick from Abdulrahman put into his own net by Bahrain defender Mohamed Husain.
Bahrain had previously drawn level on the half-hour mark through Nigeria-born striker Jaycee John Okwunwanne, but UAE were not to be denied, with that victory allowing them to progress to the knock-out phase with a game to spare while their opponents crashed out.
Abdulrahman may be rested for the final group phase clash with Iran, but with the winner likely to face an easier quarter-final tie, the 23-year-old could still take centre stage again when UAE next play on Monday January 19th.
Currently on the books of Al-Ain alongside former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, Abdulrahman has racked up 11 goals and 40 assists in his last 62 appearances for the club.