I-League 2017/18: East Bengal close to signing Mehtab Hossain replacement

Marcelo Espinal is on his way to India
Sumedh Pande

What's the story?

East Bengal have been working hard behind the scenes to build a competitive side for the upcoming I-League season. The Red and Gold lost many players in the ISL draft pick and have their task cut out to bring in quality replacements. One such player who East Bengal will dearly miss this season is Mehtab Hossain. However, Bengali publication has claimed that East Bengal have identified an able replacement for the now Jamshedpur FC midfielder.

The club is said to be in talks with Honduran international, Marcelo Espinal. The 25-year-old is a player similar to Hossain and is expected to be the club's prime midfield enforcer for the upcoming season.

In case you didn't know...

East Bengal had one of the country's best-looking midfield last season but despite that, they failed to dominate the centre of the park. Bad results against Churchill Brothers, DSK Shivajians and Aizawl FC were simply due to the fact that East Bengal's midfield was trespassed easily, especially against the three mentioned teams. The club has started to rectify those mistakes and signing Espinal is a step in that path.

The heart of the matter

The La Ceiba born Espinal represented his country in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He last played for his local team, C.D.S Vida in the Honduran league but has reportedly accepted personal terms with the I-League giants. It was claimed that both the parties were in talks since the past two weeks and the deal was agreed upon last Wednesday itself.

What's next?

East Bengal have already signed the former Aizawl FC midfielder, Mahmoud Al Amnah to partner Espinal in the midfield. Aajkaal also revealed that East Bengal are closely monitoring the situation of two strikers. The Red and Gold are looking at Trinidadian striker, Willis Plaza and Churchill Brothers forward, Anthony Wolfe. An official move for one of the two is expected soon.

Author's take

East Bengal may have lost a crucial player in Mehtab Hossain but are looking to replace him with an equally talented, Marcelo Espinal. A duo of Espinal and Amnah as a double pivot can cause troubles to the opposition and bring East Bengal closer to the I-League title.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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