What’s the story?
East Bengal have made inroads into the transfer market and now look set to rope in Salam Ranjan Singh and Gabriel Fernandes from Bengaluru FC and Churchill Brothers respectively. Moreover, goalkeeper Luis Barreto has been retained by the Red and Golds for another season.
These names will add some much-needed firepower to the depleting lineup of the Calcutta club. Although the length of the players’ contracts is yet to be finalised, they will certainly provide adequate backup in case players depart for the Indian Super League (ISL).
In case you didn’t know…
In a desperate attempt to keep the core of the team strong, East Bengal have been making frequent signings. They have made their intentions clear with the appointment of I-League winning coach Khalid Jamil.
Further, with the threat of ISL looming large, EB have not kept any stones unturned in their transfer activities. Wherever possible, they have moved in ahead of their I-League counterparts and tried to retain the shape of the team.
The heart of the matter
East Bengal had already signed defender Lalrumchullova from Aizawl FC earlier. With the addition of the tall centre back Salam Ranjan, they have further strengthened their backline.
After letting go of Ivan Bukenya, Gurwinder Singh and Arnab Mondal, the side needed competition for the CB spots and signing of the 21-year-old Salam adds a dash of youth to an otherwise experienced defence.
On the other hand, 29-year-old midfielder Gabriel will be a significant backup in case players decide to leave for the cash-rich ISL. Having played a crucial role for the Churchill Brothers in the past, he will be more than keen to emulate his feats in the uncharted territory of the Calcutta Football Arena.
With these moves, East Bengal are almost done with their team-building for the next season. Their coach Khalid Jameel will reach Calcutta on Friday to begin preparations for the upcoming Calcutta Football League, which starts in August.
The decision to strengthen their backline is a good move for the club as their defence was the primary issue last season. On the other hand, Gabriel seems to be an astute buy who can provide cover for the young Rowlin Borges. But the decision to retain Luis Barreto even after his dismal I-League showing is a befuddling one.Published 29 Jun 2017, 16:18 IST