Lions star deregistered by Johor Darul Ta'zim I
He has donned the captain's armband and started in nine of his team's first 10 Malaysian Super League (MSL) matches - missing just one through suspension.
He also helped keep two clean sheets, and even scored in the 4-1 thrashing of fellow MSL title contenders Selangor.
But Singapore's star defender Baihakki Khaizan was missing from Johor Darul Ta'zim's matchday squad for the 1-1 draw and 1-0 win against PKNS FC, before being an unused substitute in the 1-0 and 2-1 victories over Perak and T-Team respectively.
As of their last match on Friday, JDT were second in the MSL, level on points and goal difference with leaders Pahang, who scored more and played one game less.
So it comes as a shock that the 30-year-old has been deregistered as a Johor Darul Ta'zim I player.
He will remain on the Johor FA's books and most likely turn out for second-tier side JDT II alongside national captain Shahril Ishak next season.
Last November, The New Paper reported that Baihakki had signed a $30,000 per month, four-year deal worth almost $1.5 million.
On the title sponsor Astro's official MSL website, an article in Malay reported: "JDT have made two drastic overhauls involving imports Pablo Aimar and Baihakki Khaizan.
"The vacancy at the left centre back position has been quickly filled by Brazilian Marcos Antonio Elias Santos, who had represented German club FC Nuremburg.
"Aimar has asked to be released as he could not get used to the style of play in Malaysia."
While a club source confirmed that Baihakki has been "dropped", he was less certain about former Argentina playmaker Aimar's future.
The 34-year-old had made a bright start with two goals in his first four MSL games, but his last four appearances were unspectacular showings off the bench.
"We are still not sure whether Aimar will stay or go. It all depends on (Johor FA chairman) Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, who will come back from Argentina next week," said a source.
While he could not be reached for comment, Baihakki posted a picture on Instagram yesterday afternoon and wrote this message in Malay: "Farewell, my friends on and off the pitch in Johor.
"I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to wear the JDT jersey, but my contributions end here.
"I didn't think this could happen, but this is the decision of the coaching team. Keep battling towards the finishing line, my friends.
"I will be rested for the time being, and we will meet again at JDT II next season.
"Hopefully all these (changes) will help JDT reach greater heights."
SUZUKI CUP CONCERN
Former national teammate Aleksandar Duric felt that this latest development affects not just Baihakki, but also the Lions as the Suzuki Cup looms.
The 43-year-old said: "He is one of the main defenders in the national team.
"If he doesn't play competitive football for a few months, his fitness and match fitness will suffer, and so will the Lions."
There is potentially the tantalising prospect of Baihakki rejoining defending MSL champions LionsXII, even if on loan, before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.
But Duric said: "This is JDT's loss and some other club's gain. I'm sure many clubs will want to sign him, but I don't think JDT will let Baihakki go to a direct title rival like LionsXII."
Sudden changes at JDT are not uncommon.
Last season, Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad was made to step down as JDT coach and become team manager. This season, former Atletico Madrid coach Cesar Jimenez was switched from JDT I to JDT II in mid-season.