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East Bengal in talks with two foreign strikers for upcoming season

One of the strikers is a former Hull City U-18 forward.

East Bengal will be managed by former Aizawl FC coach Khalid Jamil (centre)

What’s the story?

I-League club East Bengal have reportedly opened talks with two foreign strikers for the upcoming season. According to a report in Goal.com, Alvito D’Cunha, who is a former India international, shortlisted the two foreigners after seeing them in a trial in Leeds.

Also read: Abinash Ruidas lodges a complaint to the AIFF against East Bengal

In case you didn’t know…

East Bengal have already begun preparations for the upcoming season. They have appointed Khalid Jamil, who guided Aizwal FC to an unprecedented I-League title last season, as their head coach and have already roped in two foreigners this season in the form of Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna and Trinidadian defender Carlyle Mitchell.

They have also retained Willis Plaza, who has recently been selected for the Trinidad and Tobago national squad, from last season.

The heart of the matter

Alvito served the Kolkata club as a player for over a decade. Since retirement, though, he has been a part of the player recruitment process of the club. He had travelled to England earlier in the week in a bid to scout strikers. Tushar Rakshit, another former India international, was supposed to travel with him as well but he had issues in getting a visa.

Lutel James, who is a well-known footballing figure around leads and a volunteer coach at the Chapeltown Football Youth Development Centre, had arranged for the trials. As many as 50 free agents, who have played in different tiers of English football, had turned up for the trials.

Of them, only two players were shortlisted. While the names have not been revealed, it has been reported that one of them is a former Hull City U-18 forward.

What’s next?

East Bengal, who have won the Calcutta Football League for the last eight editions straight, will begin this year’s campaign in the first week of August. 

Author’s take

In Willis Plaza, East Bengal have a prolific striker. He scored 9 goals in 14 matches in the last season of the I-League and has proved himself. That the club is looking to sign a new striker, either to partner him in the first team or to provide him with some competition, is actually a good move.

The club should be looking at winning the I-League this year, a trophy that has eluded them for quite some time now. Strengthening their squad will only help them in their endeavour.

Also read: ISL 2017: PM Modi urged to intervene for inclusion of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal

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